In the run up to the IFSC Paraclimbing World Championships, September 14-18, we are profiling the GB Paraclimbing Team who have been training all year to be in a strong position to challenge for a podium place at the Paris event.
Thanks to a sponsorship deal with Birchall Blackburn Law, the GB paraclimbing team is able to compete in a number of international competitions this year, including the all-important World Championships.
Martin Heald, aged 24, from Preston started climbing about three years ago after his work colleague, Mark asked him to go. He has been hooked ever since.
What advice would you give to anyone who wants to start climbing?
Grab a friend and go, it’s as easy as that.
Where is your favourite place to climb?
Indoor at West View (Preston), North West Face (Warrington) and The Depot in Manchester – there’s too many! Outside, I think the Peak District just edges it.
What is your proudest moment?
Successfully eating a full cheesecake in one sitting.
What is the toughest lesson you have learned?
Not to eat a full cheesecake in one sitting.
What are your goals for the future?
Obviously to be world number one!
Who inspires you and why?
It has to be Jimmy Webb, have you seen his beard? On a serious note, he is super strong and also seems like a super cool, sound guy. Also Urko Carmona, what he has achieved and done for Paraclimbing is amazing. He inspires me to achieve the same, if not more!
If you could be a character in any film who or what would it be?
Hiccup from How to Train Your Dragon, who doesn’t want to fly a dragon?!
What was the last thing you watched on TV and why?
Into The Wild. I was told it was good and it was – highly recommend!
Which member of the GB Paraclimbing team makes you laugh the most and why?
Has to be the one and only Sianagh Gallagher! She’s funny!
Which member of the GB Paraclimbing team talks the most and what do they talk about?
This is a tricky one. I think Dave Bowes might edge it though. He’s usually giving out tips and advice, which really helps.
If you could rescue one possession from your burning home what would it be and why?
My life-size cardboard cut-out of Yoda!