Paraclimber Sianagh Gallagher sets her sights on being world champion

York Press: Sianagh Gallagher trains at Askham Bryan College as part of her bid for a place in the Team GB paraclimbing squad, with coach and lecturer Drew Haigh. Picture: Kippa Matthews Sianagh Gallagher trains at Askham Bryan College as part of her bid for a place in the Team GB paraclimbing squad, with coach and lecturer Drew Haigh. Picture: Kippa Matthews

A TEENAGE paraclimber from York has her sights set on becoming world champion.

Sianagh Gallagher, 17, from Acomb is aiming to get a place in the GB Paraclimbing team to compete in the World Championships in Spain.

As reported the Askham Bryan College student became the first one-armed person to be selected for Team GB's paraclimbing team, competing in France and Italy and went on to win a gold medal in London at the International Federation of Sport Climbing competition.

Now Sianagh, wants to secure a place in Team GB for the 2014 World Climbing Championships in Gijon, Spain from September 8-14.

To do so, she needs to be placed at three national climbing events; she has achieved that at two, and now needs success on Saturday , May 24in Manchester to secure her place.

In addition to her gold medal, Sianagh also has a clutch of medals achieved over the last four years from both European and national championships.

With the World Championships only months away, she is training hard with coach Drew Haigh at the York-based college where she is in the first year of a two year outdoor adventure course.

Drew said: “Sianagh is incredibly determined and has terrific technique. Her commitment is second to none, all of which explains why she has achieved so much in a relatively short space of time.”

Drew is well placed to know as he is himself a former GB climbing champion and was one of the world's top 20 climbers before beginning a career in teaching five years ago.

He said: “I have had to adapt my coaching style to suit Sianagh, but she is climbing at the highest level regardless of her disability. And she is keen to put something back – she has taken her passion for the sport further and is instructing 7 – 11-year-olds in climbing and is currently setting up a climbing club for youngsters with disabilities."

Born ten weeks premature, Sianagh faced a host of difficulties including no collarbone, a curved spine, twisted pelvis and both feet facing the wrong way. Her interest in climbing began as a 10-year-old when she was offered a place in her school's climbing team and she hasn't looked back since. Hopefully all will go well in Manchester and she will be able to add another medal to her already impressive collection.

Comments (1)

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10:50am Fri 16 May 14

sheddie says...

Wow, much respect. Must be so much harder with only three main contact points - with four you can move one to the next grip and remain stable. With just three to play with each move must be dynamic...
Wow, much respect. Must be so much harder with only three main contact points - with four you can move one to the next grip and remain stable. With just three to play with each move must be dynamic... sheddie
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