Tuesday, November 5, 2013

About All-Female Climbing Events...

Versión en español

I've never been much into "women-only" events. As a climber, being in the company of other women wasn't something I needed to improve my motivation or my performance, and I tended to think that other female climbers would think likewise.
Women's Climbing Symposium 2013. Photo: The Arch Climbing Wall.
Source: https://thebmc.co.uk/
Then I got invited to the Women's Climbing Symposium and learned about the reasons behind its conception, and my point of view shifted.
There is a set of common problems regarding motivation, that in turn influence how (some) girls enjoy, persist, get frustrated or give up some activity; from this realization it became clear that -as researchers from the same field or employees from the same company do-, it made a lot of sense for women to share their common motivation, exchange points of view and develop plans of action.
Women's Climbing Symposium is an all-female event dedicated to connecting, developing and inspiring women in climbing. This year took place at The Arch Climbing Wall (London)
The way I see it, events like this are especially useful for detecting what the actual handicaps for female climbers are, and why some of those "vanish" when a bunch of us get together. The latter probably have their roots on gender stereotypes: motivations for sport participation, motivational orientation, fear of falling, perceived self-efficacy, etc.
But there are other, "purely" physical factors, like upper body strength and % body fat that, being predictors of performance in female climbers, can determine the priorities for women climbers as a group.
With this in mind, it would be ideal to provide the attendees with strategies/ideas to put into practice when they return to their "usual environment", with their partners or mates.

The talk I gave was my little contribution towards that goal. My intention is to push the matter forward here in my blog or... perhaps before a live audience somewhere else ;-)

My thanks go to all those enthusiastic girls that taught me so much with their questions, and specially to Lucía, who helped me translating my talk (you are the best!). And my congratulations to the organizers: Steph Meysner (Climber and co-owner of The Climbing Hangar), Shauna Coxsey (Professional athlete; three times British Bouldering Champion, World 3rd) and The Arch Climbing Wall crew. Huge congratulations also to the rest of coaches and speakers.
Shauna, Emilia, and Steph. Nice to meet you. I hope that we will meet again! Source: Shauna's website
Thank you for inviting me. It's been a pleasure and a honor being there with all of you and feeling part of this initiative!


BMC Report by Katy Dartford
Shauna Coxsey's website
Crux Crush Report by Zofia A. Reych
UKC Report by Paul Phillips
Goryonline Report by Zofia A. Reych
Report on a Very Busy Life blog by Ali Ingleby
2013 Women's Climbing Symposium website
Women's Climbing Symposium's facebook page
More pictures