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.
Matthew Phillips, aged 15, from Guildford has been climbing for two years. He jumped in at the deep end when he entered the Paraclimbing World Cup at the beginning of his climbing career, came second and has been roped in ever since.
What advice would you give to anyone who wants to start climbing?
Just go out and do get down to your local wall and give it a go. It really is a sport that everyone can do.
What is the toughest lesson you have learned?
Life won’t give you everything you have to earn it.
What are your goals for the future?
To become the World Champion in my category and hopefully compete in the Paralympics.
What are your strengths?
My determination and ability to take risks.
What are your weaknesses?
Not knowing when to stop.
Who inspires you and why?
My coach Robin O’Leary who has really helped me to get where I am today.
What other sport would you like to try if climbing did not exist and why?
For six years I was a national swimmer and I won bronze at an international level. I was also a very good skier and that is what I would go back to as I really enjoy the speed of it.
Do you have a favourite sinful snack?
If you could be a character in any film who or what would it be?
If you could rescue one possession from your burning home what would it be and why?
My climbing shoes because I need those to climb with later.