HAMISH McArthur is counting down to his Great Britain debut at the Youth Colours European climbing event in Imst, Austria, next month.

The 12-year-old, who is the youngest member of the Great Britain squad, will be competing against some of the best climbers from the strongest climbing nations including Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Italy and France on the weekend of June 7 and 8.

The Joseph Rowntree School pupil also qualified for the British Youth Climbing Series Final by winning the regional qualifying rounds earlier in the year, which will be held at the Edinburgh International Climbing Arena on June 28.

He will compete in the Youth ‘C’ age category, the youngest age category of both competitions.

Hamish’s father, Angus, said: “In both these events he will be at the bottom of his Youth ‘C’ age category (age 11-13) and is not expected to win but will obviously be doing his best.

"He is setting his sights on these events for next year when he will be at the top of the category.

“These competitions will also prepare him for the World and European competitions, where the events are a feature of the older age categories Youth ‘B’ (13-15) and Youth ‘A’ (15-17).”

McArthur’s successes saw the York youngster gain a £150 Fund For The Gifted award from Active York, along with sponsorship from software company Tracsis.

The Leeds-based firm are keen to help promising Yorkshire talent and rate McArthur highly.

A spokesman said: "Hamish has got the backing and sponsorship of Tracsis PLC, who see that climbing is set to become a huge sport in the near future.

"Hamish clearly has the talent and has a chance of going right to the top of this exciting and fast growing sport."

As a result of their sponsorship, Hamish can now attend regular Great Britain training camps and travel to national and international competitions.