Lots. The competition scene within the military is thriving and we welcome all military climbers, regardless of climbing ability. The latest forecast of events can be found in the Secure Members' Area and is updated every few months or as the programme changes. If you have any remaining questions please get in touch with one of the people listed below under “Points of Contact”.
“Sport Climbing” within the context of the AMA (Army Mountaineering Association) means competition climbing on artificial walls, although some of the Army team training may be conducted outdoors, and many of the competitors are keen outdoor rock climbers and mountaineers. Sport climbing is led by the AMA Vice Chairman (Sport), supported by his team. All other mountaineering activity, from expeditions to UK-based outdoor meets, is co-ordinated through the Vice Chairman (Mountaineering) and his team. Their contact details can be found on the Organisation page.
Sport Climbing is a Cat 2 sport within Defence (formerly known as a “Recognised” sport). Therefore the AMA Vice Chairman (Sport) and his deputy, the AMA Sport Secretary, are responsible to the ASCB (Army Sport Control Board) for the administration and governance of Sport Climbing within the Army. For more information, please see JSP 660 (Sport in the Armed Forces) and AGAI Vol 1, Chap 5 (Sport).
In addition to the open-entry events, the Army Climbing Team conducts training throughout the year, culminating at the Inter-Services lead climbing competition in Jun/Jul each year.
Within the military, there are two distinct sport climbing disciplines: Bouldering and Lead Climbing. Broadly speaking the bouldering competition season lasts from October to March, whilst the lead climbing competition season lasts from March to July. Each season begins with competitions open to all, and culminates in the selection of the UK Armed Forces team to represent the UK internationally against other militaries and civilian athletes.
Bouldering consists of unroped climbing above a crash mat, normally at heights of 4.5m or less. Lead climbing consists of roped climbing on taller walls (normally between 8m and 20m). With the exception of the Inter-Services competition in the summer, lead climbing competitions will generally involve qualifying routes climbed on a top rope.
We are extremely grateful to our sponsors for the support that they provide. Our sponsors are Deloitte, Towergate, DMM, The Orange House, Entre-Prises Climbing Walls, ERYRI mountaineering, Cotswold, and UKC.
Sport climbing receives funding from a variety of public and non-public sources. Its finances form part of the wider AMA budget, overseen by the AMA treasurer. The detailed breakdown can be seen in the AMA’s accounts, but the main sources of funding that enable sport climbing events to occur are listed below:
Entry fees: All competitors pay a small entry fee to offset the costs of each competition. This is usually in the region of £10-15.
ASCB Grant: The Army Sports Control Board (ASCB) provides an annual grant to offset the running costs of Army sports associations. The AMA’s bid is submitted annually by the Sport Climbing Secretary.
ASCB Sports Equipment Public Funds (SEPF). The SEPF is an annual fund to offset the costs to sports associations of clothing and equipment. The AMA’s bid is submitted annually by the AMA Sport Climbing Secretary.
AMA. Sport climbing is a major component of the AMA’s activities, and the AMA therefore allocates funding to support sport climbing events.
Deloitte. Deloitte provide financial support to the Army Climbing Team.
Army Sports Lottery: The Army Sports Lottery provides financial grants to offset the personal cost of competing abroad at Army level and above. It also provides the bulk of the funds from which the ASCB grant is made (see above). It is therefore critical to the continued success of sport climbing within the Army. If you are not already a member of the Army Sports Lottery, I would strongly urge you to consider it.
Names and contact details can be found on the Organisation page. Our roles are below:
Vice Chairman (Sport). The lead for sport climbing within the AMA and the Army.
Sport Climbing Secretary. The Vice Chairman’s deputy. A good first POC for general questions on sport climbing within the Army.
Army Climbing Team Manager. Responsible for the training and management of the Army climbing team. See the Army Team page for more info.
Army Climbing Team Assistant Manager. Assists the manager by, for example, organising training events.
Army Climbing Championships organiser. Responsible for the Army Champs, which is the premier lead climbing competition run by the Army and is used to select the Army team for the Inter-Services.
Tri-Services Bouldering League (TSBL) organiser. Runs the hugely successful league, which runs from October to February and is open to all levels of ability.
UK Armed Forces Climbing Team Manager. Runs the UK Armed Forces team (formerly known as “Combined Services”). This may rotate through the RN, RAF and Army.
UK Armed Forces Climbing Team Assistant Manager. Assist the team manager. This position is not tied to the Army and may rotate through the RAF and RN.
The AMA recognises that climbing and mountaineering are activities with a danger of personal injury or death.
Participants in these activities should be aware of and accept these risks and be responsible for their own actions.