Department of Sport

University of Nottingham Alumni medals at IFSC World Championships for GB Paraclimbing

UoN Alumna Martha Evans is no stranger to the big stage having won bronze at her first World Paraclimbing Championships back in 2019.  

Martha has scoliosis, an abnormal curvature of the spine and had a spinal fusion operation in 2016, whereby her spine was straightened by the implementation of 2 rods, 14 screws and 4 hooks. This means she competes in para category RP3, where the athletes have a limited range of movement but high levels of power and strategy. 

Speaking to UoN Sport, Martha reflected on here time at the University of Nottingham. She commented: 

“I started volunteering at the inclusive climbing sessions as something to do at the weekend, then got into a conversation with Anita Aggarwal, who was already part of the GB Paraclimbing Team. We soon realised that I fit the criteria to compete and so I went along to a couple of the national competitions in 2018. I did a lot of my training at David Ross and was very grateful for the support that UoN Sport provided me.” 

After the 2020 International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) World Cups were cancelled due to COVID-19, the GB Paraclimbing team headed out to Moscow for the first international competition since the Briançon World Championships in 2019, which included Martha who looked to do better than the bronze she won 2 years ago. 

Due to new classification rules in preparation for a bid to become a Paralympic discipline, all athletes first had to go through a new classification assessment. After several athletes had to undergo additional climbing observations, and some uncertainty about classifications, Martha was able to compete after a few nerve-wracking days of waiting and was placed in the RP3 sports class. 

Once placed, Martha battled it out on two contrasting routes and eventually qualified for the finals in second place. 

Martha went on to deliver an impressive performance in the RP3 final, cruising the first half of the route at a confident pace before an unexpected slip, but still secured team GB’s third silver medal of the night! 

Following the event, Martha reflected on her progress within the championship: 

“I was quite disappointed with how I performed during qualifications, but I really enjoyed climbing in finals and was really pleased with how I climbed! It’s really easy to look back at the final climb and pick out what you could’ve done better but being pleased in the moment is what I try to focus on.” 

As a final note, Martha also had some words of wisdom for young para-athletes looking to get into climbing: 

“Just start climbing for fun, look around for Paraclimbing clubs and groups like inclusive climbing at Nottingham. Don’t be afraid to ask for accommodations when climbing at new centres, as usually they’ll be happy to help.” 

Martha is an inspiration for para-athletes everywhere and everyone at UoN Sport would like to extend our congratulations for a fantastic achievement!

As well as a reputation for academic excellence, we have a history of sporting success and are passionate about supporting promising athletes during their time at the University of Nottingham. To find out more about our Sports Scholarship, please click here.

Posted on Thursday 30th September 2021

University of Nottingham Sport

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University of Nottingham
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