Molly Thompson-Smith. Photo: Nick Pope

Molly Thompson-Smith. Photo: Nick Pope

A rising young star of the climbing world is urging other women to try the sport.

Berghaus-sponsored athlete Molly Thompson-Smith chose International Women’s Day to encourage girls to visit their local wall and have a go at climbing.

And she revealed her hope that she will make a British Olympic team if the sport is accepted into the 2020 Tokyo games.

She said: “For women who want to give the sport a try, I say go to your local climbing wall, hire a pair of shoes and just have a go.

“You’ve got a nice soft mat to land on and you don’t have to have climbed anything in your life to get started – you will gain skills as you go along. There’s a dedicated women’s climbing group at my local wall and you can find those all over the country.

“My top tip is to grab a girlfriend and get along to a wall, and try everything that the boys are trying on the wall too.”

After her first climbing experience at the age of seven, Molly Thompson-Smith has grown into one of the sport’s brightest stars. Thompson-Smith has already won 20 national titles, as well as being only the fifth junior British climber to win a European youth cup event, despite still only being 18.

As a junior climber, she won her first senior British title at the age of 15, the youngest ever to do so. Thompson-Smith has also been ranked number one in the world and Europe for her age category. She is an ambassador for the British Mountaineering Council and, at the age of 16, secured a sponsorship deal with leading outdoor brand, Berghaus.

In a short film, she said: “I think that climbing is such a great spectacle to watch and I don’t know why it’s not in the Olympics already. To compete in Tokyo would be amazing.”

She is one of the team that is campaigning with the BMC on behalf of the sport for its inclusion in the games.

Molly Thompson-Smith takes part in a BMC GB climbing team event in Manchester

Molly Thompson-Smith takes part in a BMC GB climbing team event in Manchester

She said she hopes the high calibre of female climbers currently taking part in the sport will encourage other girls and women to try it. “I’m proud of what I have achieved so far,” she said, “but I like to look up to other young people.

“There are so many strong and inspirational young girls on the climbing scene right now, performing really well and leading the way. It’s very exciting to be part of that and I hope it inspires other girls to take up the sport.”

Berghaus and the BMC recently announced that the brand will sponsor the GB climbing team for the next two years. Molly Thompson-Smith is one of 30 women and girls in the team, who compete at events in the UK and around the world.

Anyone interested in trying out climbing can find out where their nearest wall is on the BMC website.

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