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Selwyn Times: July 19, 2016

10 Tuesday

10 Tuesday July 19 2016 Our People SELWYN TIMES Climbers no fear approach Springston resident Shania Gibson, 18, is raising money to represent New Zealand in climbing at the World Youth Championships in China. She talked to Siobhan Watson about her love of climbing and the people helping her to reach the top of her sport How long have you been climbing for sport? This will be my seventh year. But competitively, this is my fourth year. How did you get into climbing as a sport? My friend at primary school used to do it just for a bit of fun and she asked me one time if I wanted to go along and I obviously said yes, because I was really into sport and trying new things. Yeah, so we just went for a little bit of fun once a week and she actually left to America to live with her family, so I was left INTENSE: Shania Gibson is watched by her coach Stephan Brucher. She climbs both man-made (right) and natural climbing walls. PHOTOS: SHANIA GIBSON on my own. But when I got to high school, I pursued it because there was a climbing club and it just went from there. How much money do you need to raise to get over to the competition? Have you reached your goal yet? So it’s roughly about five-grand and I haven’t reached the goal yet. The responses that I’ve had so far are good, but I’ve had to find other ways of funding myself, which includes sausage sizzles and working twice a week. I’ve been trying to apply for some sponsorship as well. I’ve talked to some small companies but it’s not an easy thing to do with such a small sport. How did you get chosen for the championship? So last year at the national championship – which was held in Rotorua – they had selectors who were watching a lot of us younger climbers. They were looking at our general ability, and not just physical, but how we cope in stressful situations. And in December last year, they chose a youth development squad of 20 to 30 people, and then we had a trial at the first national competition of this year and they chose the team from that. They based the results on the first national competition of this year, as well as how you competed last year. LAWyerS What is it about climbing that you like in particular? I enjoy it because it’s not just a physical challenge, it’s also mental. So when your climbing, your always presented with a puzzle or a problem that you have to work out. A lot of people would describe it as dancing but your on a wall. You have to really use your body and your imagination and come up with ways to solve the problems. Sometimes it will take me numerous tries, days or even weeks to complete a problem, but no matter how many attempts it takes me, I always feel a huge amount of satisfaction once I’ve completed it. I enjoy that part of it because when you feel that kind of achievement, you feel good about yourself. Also, the thrill and the adrenalin is really addictive, being up that high and just knowing that you’re pushing past gravity, and knowing that there is always that slight risk that something could happen, but knowing that you’re also in control. When I’m climbing, I don’t think about anything else, I switch off from the outside world and I find it a good stress relief from other things in my life. We have over 40 years’ experience to assist you with… • Buying and Selling Houses and Commercial Property • Wills, Trusts and Estate matters • All issues facing you and your business; • Employment Law matters; • Traffic matters; • Earthquake related issues; and • Advice regarding Retirement Villages Call John, Brendan or Andrew today on 03 366 8996 to find out how we can help you. Email. lawyers@mclegal.co.nz Airport Business Park 92 Russley Road Christchurch 8042 Bananas $ 1 .88 per kg STRAWBERRY PLANTS AVAILABLE TIME TO PLANT NOW OPEN 7 DAYS Phone 349 5952 Cnr Springs Rd & Marshs Rd, Prebbleton (next to Milanese Restaurant) Quality Tested The Wooden Shed Company Since ★ 2003 FIND US ON Phone: 027 441 4010 info@thewoodenshedco.co.nz www.thewoodenshedco.co.nz Mono Pitch Sheds Macrocarpa or Pine 3m from $975 Gable Roof Sheds Macrocarpa or Pine 3.6m from $1595 Custom Designed sheds also available $199 installation $199 delivery (greater Christchurch area)

SELWYN TIMES Tuesday July 19 2016 11 pushes her to the summit It’s a good way to just focus on myself and not think about other things for a while. Do you ever get halfway up a cliff and suddenly get scared of falling? I haven’t done a huge amount of outdoor climbing but even just indoors when I’m climbing on the roof, I can quite often fear falling off which can put a barrier on how well I climb, because it’s quite a mental challenge. So you have to put that behind you and that’s what I’m trying to learn at the moment in training as well. Not just the physical part, but mentally pushing myself past my barriers and past my limits and not being so afraid of falling. Because it is an irrational fear, the chances of anything happening are pretty slim. In terms of health and safety, how does that work? So we wear a harness and we are tied into a rope, so obviously you have to have a belayer [a person who controls the safety rope for a climber] and I’m quite sceptical of who is belaying because I really have to trust them. I train with my coach and I really trust him because he’s a really good belayer. So when ROCKY ROAD: Shania in the process of climbing a cliff face. you’re climbing, they are feeding out the rope and you clip it into the quick draws on the wall as you climb, and they are about a metre apart. Once you get to one of those points, you’re safe. Well, you’re safe the whole way up but that’s the next point to be aware of. You need to clip in, because if you go further and above, you could potentially have a fatal fall. What’s the hardest climb that you have done? The hardest climb I’ve done is a 26, which is the grade. Grade 13 is the easiest and I think grade 35 is the hardest someone has done so far. What other interests do you have aside from climbing? Well, I enjoy any form of physical activity; sport has always been my thing. I enjoy cooking and learning about the nutritional side of things and relating it with my climbing, because I know nutrition is such a big thing with sport. What will the championship in China involve? There is three disciplines in the competition, so that’s speedclimbing, lead-climbing and bouldering. So I’ll be competing in two of those, which is leadclimbing and bouldering. For lead-climbing, there’s qualifications, semi-finals and then finals. It is based over three days and GOING FOR IT: Scaling a wall in a competitive competition. I’ll be in the junior under-20 category. What do you have planned for the future? Next year I’m going to have a gap year and further my education after that. Anything else you would like to add? Can you please give a special thanks to my coach Stephan Brucher, and Cirrus Tan who has helped me a lot with my climbing over the years. My school climbing teacher George Elliot and Uprising Boulder Gym for helping me to get to China, the Roxx Climbing Gym and everyone else who’s been by my side for the last four years.