Danie Rushmer

5 things about Climbing I wish I knew 5 years ago…

Wednesday, October 28th, 2015 - Posted by Danie

friends1. It’s just so much fun! It sure is. The thing we hear most when people complete their beginner’s course is “I wish I’d done this years ago!” Climbing doesn’t have to be hard work, although it is actually part of the fun of it if you ask me. Because it’s such a sociable sport too you’re guaranteed to hook up with like-minded people and find yourself looking forward to your trips to the wall more and more.

2. It’s really good for you. Climbing is so great for toning up and getting your body in shape! Gyms are generally dull, sweaty places where people go to work-out on their own and surrounded by strangers (possibly because no-one actually wants people they know to see them red in the face and dripping from exertion?! Fair enough.) However, it’s also great for your mental well-being. A sociable, feel-good activity that gets the blood pumping and the adrenaline racing… What more could you ask for to make you feel alive?!

DSC_04653. You’ll make friends. Life long friends. When you regularly choose to place your life in the hands of another, it’s easy to see why people strike up friendships that span many years. It’s also one of the most likely sports that you’ll meet someone you’d like to be romantically involved with; perhaps for the same reason as above but possibly also because it’s been voted the “sexiest” sport with women scoring climbers higher than surfers and footballers!

4. Getting back in to climbing is hard work.
So, you used to climb and then you gave it up for any number of reasons… Prepare for a battle! The major issue with getting back in to climbing is that your head knows exactly what you should do but your body can’t quite live up to your head’s expectations. You’ll get there though, just don’t expect too much from yourself too soon and make sure that you’re having fun with your climbing!

5. You can make a living out of it. I recall many years ago having a blazing row with my dad about the fact I did not want to go to University – I wanted to be a climber and work in climbing! I worked hard at my climbing, got my qualifications, applied for a job as an instructor and then a Duty Manager… and now I’m the General Manager of the wonderful world that we all call Craggy; and I wouldn’t change a thing. It is possible and don’t be afraid to make that dream a reality!

Posted in 3 Star Membership, Craggy Island News, Danie Rushmer, Guildford News, Newsletter, Sutton News | No Comments »

Success for Craggy Youth Team at National Finals…!

Sunday, June 29th, 2014 - Posted by Danie

Matilda Collins, 1st Place in Youth D Girls

This weekend saw the Grand Final for the British Mountaineering Council’s Youth Climbing Series at EICA Ratho in Edinburgh!

The Youth Climbing Series (YCS) is run by the British Mountaineering Council (BMC) and gives youngsters aged between 7 and 17 the chance to compete in a fun series of competitions within their region. During the competition the kids are required to climb 3 routes and 3 boulder problems – scoring points for the distance that they manage to climb up the route or boulder problem.  A maximum of 100 points is available on the routes and 60 on the boulder problems.  All routes and boulders are set specifically for the competition and take in to account not only the age of the children that will be climbing them, but also their size and the strengths and weaknesses which are likely at their age.

The top 3 climbers from each category qualify in to the Grand Final so simply earning a place is a truly great achievement and something that all who qualified should be extremely proud of!

We were delighted to have 6 Craggy Youth Team and 1 Development Squad member through to Finals – this represents more places for our Region in the Finals than any other team in the area and is a credit to the support provided by our coaching team.

  • Youth A Boys:  Reegan Brown
  • Youth A Girls:  Lucy Bradbury
  • Youth C Boys:  Miles Graham & James Bateman
  • Youth D Boys:  Tola Lally (Craggy Youth Squad)
  • Youth D Girls:  Matilda Collins
  • Youth E Boys:  Toby Roberts

Lucy Bradbury on her second climb.Having qualified for the event back in the early spring it must have felt like a long time coming for our young climbers…  Danie Rushmer (Team Manager), Mark Croxall (Head Coach) and Graeme Harwood (Coach) were also there – providing our young climbers with all the support, advice and encouragement they needed to not only do well but have a great time trying.

After completing the traditional group warm up with all of the other competitors the kids were split in to their age groups and began preparing for their climbs and boulders.  With so many competitors (over 300 young climbers from throughout England, Scotland and Ireland!) it is always extremely difficult to keep track of how individuals are doing within their groups so it is a rollercoaster of a day and a great battle of ups and downs, highs and lows…  Above all, it’s a learning experience with all of our young competitors coming out of it having learnt a lot.

James Bateman making his way to the top of his second climb.It was a tough competition for all of them and certainly a step up from the Regional competitions.  Having to cope with nerves, an intimidating venue, lots of waiting around between climbs and the pressure of competing at National level I can honestly say that I could not be more proud of our Team members.

Highlight of the day has to be 1st Place for Matilda Collins in Youth D Girls.  This follows on from her recent success in Europe where she achieved 7th in the International Youth Colour Festival in Imst, Austria and puts her up there with some of the most exciting young talents currently within the UK climbing scene.

Great congratulations go to all of our climbers: 

  • Matilda Collins, 1st Place
  • Toby Roberts, 4th Place
  • Lucy Bradbury, 7th Place
  • Reegan Brown, 9th Place
  • James Bateman, 14th Place
  • Miles Graham, 16th Place
  • Tola Lally, 20th Place

The London & South East Team - winners of the team competition!In addition to the congratulations to our climbers, I also want to say a HUGE thank you to all the parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters who provided transport, love and support throughout the whole weekend.  Without all of you this really wouldn’t be possible – and most certainly not anywhere near as much fun! 

Full results can be viewed here.

More photos can be viewed here.

You can read a bit more about the Craggy Youth Team here.  Any media enquiries should be directed to Danielle Rushmer, Team Manager at danie@craggy-island.com.


Posted in Craggy Island News, Danie Rushmer, Guildford News, Kids Club, Sutton News | No Comments »

Blog: BMC Regional Academy, Saturday 28th September 2013

Sunday, September 29th, 2013 - Posted by Danie


Issy Adams working on her slab climbing

Issy Adams working on her slab climbing

The BMC Regional Academies are a series of workshops to provide additional coaching and support to young climbers in the UK.

Children from all age groups who qualified in to the Youth Climbing Series (YCS) National Final that was held in June of this year have been invited to attend the Academies and represent some of the most talented young climbers in the country.  I’m very happy to be one of the coaches on all of the BMC Academies as it’s great to work with such a psyched and able group of kids on an on going basis.

Jake Collins playing "Sticky Hands and Feet"

Jake Collins playing “Sticky Hands and Feet”

There are 4 Academies taking place in each region and they each look at a different element of climbing.  Session plans are devised by Ian Dunn, GB Junior Team Manager and provide a consistent approach to the coaching throughout all of the regions.

Yesterday’s session, held at Mile End in London, was on “Movement” and was focused around creating and developing efficiency whilst climbing which is something that I feel most climbers could benefit from!

The younger climbers – Youth D and E attend during the morning session which is predominantly games-based and has them learning about their climbing without them necessarily realising it.  The standard was really impressive and amazing to see such small people cranking hard and improving every step of the way.

Matilda Collins and Toby Roberts from Craggy getting to grips with a boulder problem

Matilda Collins and Toby Roberts from Craggy getting to grips with a boulder problem

The older groups – Youth A, B and C attend in the longer afternoon session and after a group warm up it was soon time to split down in to groups and start working on performance.  With a really small ratio – 1 coach to 3 climbers, the Academies offer great value-for-money coaching and constant feedback throughout the 4 hour session.  After working on various drills and looking at movement on different angles and styles of holds we finished up with a friendly, fun competition to gauge how effective the day had been.  Given how tired all of the climbers were by then it was really pleasing to see them topping out on problems that some of them would certainly not have considered possible at the start of the day!

Would like to say a huge THANK YOU to Mile End Climbing Wall for being an excellent host to all of us!!  Their facilities are fab and we were made to feel extremely welcome – help was always on hand whenever we needed it.

Can’t wait for the next one in October!

Please feel free to get in touch at danie@craggy-island.com if you have any feedback regarding the coaching being provided at the Academies.  I’ll be happy to either answer any queries or forward to the appropriate person.


Future BMC Academy dates and sessions:

October 26th @ Westway, London: Technical Training – Endurance

November 23rd @ Craggy Island, Guildford: Physical Training – Strength and strength endurance training.

January 18th @ Reading: Technical Training – Technique and route reading

Posted in Craggy Island News, Danie Rushmer, Guildford News, Kids Club | No Comments »

next/previous posts