BMC vice-president Emma Flaherty

BMC vice-president Emma Flaherty

A climber and PE trainer has been elected a vice-president of the British Mountaineering Council.

Emma Flaherty joins Rupert Davies and Nick Kurth as one of three holders of the post in the council, which represents climbers, mountaineers and hillwalkers in England and Wales.

She replaces Mina Leslie-Wujastyk on the BMC’s executive committee. The election was confirmed at the organisation’s annual meeting at YHA Castleton Losehill Hall at the weekend.

A well known climber, Ms Flaherty is the partnership development manager for a team of PE teachers and trainers working in primary schools. She is also the PE and school sport manager for the local authority in Sheffield.

She said: “I am looking forward to combining my skills and experience from across my work and climbing backgrounds to do my best to contribute to the great work that the BMC does.

“I believe this is a time when it is increasingly important that climbers and hillwalkers have a strong and respected body behind their interests.

“I got into climbing while working in an outdoor centre in Wales, after my A-levels. I loved going out and having adventures with my friends in the mountains and on sea cliffs and have been hooked ever since.

“While living in Wales and subsequently the North-East I mainly climbed trad and alpine but since moving to Sheffield I have focused more on bouldering.”

Emma Flaherty: hooked on adventures

Emma Flaherty: hooked on adventures

She is one of the directors of the Women’s Climbing Symposium, which has just been announced as a finalist in the Women’s Sport Trust #BeAGameChanger awards which recognise individuals and organisations progressing women’s sport.

Over recent years the BMC has increased the number women it has in key voluntary roles, for instance with Kate Worthington as chair of BMC Cymru-Wales. However, statistics show fewer women are involved in BMC activities than men, from participation through to BMC board members.

Joanna Rowbottom, BMC equity and partnerships officer, has been working with BMC volunteer Lynn Robinson on developing a recruitment drive for female volunteers.

Ms Rowbottom said: “We’d like to have more female representation across all areas, especially as volunteers in our voluntary committees and technical working groups. Whatever time you have, and wherever your interests lie, it would be really great to have you on board.”

At the gathering, chaired by BMC president Rehan Siddiqui, it was announced members had raised £3,800 for Climbers Against Cancer and the Mend Our Mountains crowdfunder campaign to fund footpath work on some of the most popular mountains in England and Wales.

Ben Lyon, founder of Lyon Equipment, was awarded the 2016 BMC George Band Award for his outstanding contribution to the BMC and mountaineering over many years.

The award recognises people who have played a significant role in the BMC’s work over an extended period of time. Mr Lyon’s nomination was put forward by the BMC technical committee.

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