Talent Development

Mountaineering Ireland aims to deliver a talent development pathway to identify and support talented young climbers. 

Talent Development Pathway

Many young climbers are active with youth organisations such as Scouting, schools with climbing walls and climbing wall classes. For some of these climbers the lure of the sport will draw them on in pursuit of higher performances. For these young climbers Mountaineering Ireland Talent Development Pathway provides the structures and opportunities to develop these climbing skills.
Climbing competitions such as the Youth Climbing Series, the Irish Bouldering League, the Lead Climbing League, the Irish Lead Climbing Championship and the Irish Bouldering Championship provide young climbers an excellent opportunity to test and showcase their skills. Other young climbers will demonstrate their potential by climbing to a high level on rock or indoors in a non-competitive setting.

Climbing Development Squad

The Climbing Development Squad (previously known as the Talent Development Squad) is suitable for young climbers who are keen to improve their climbing performance and who regularly compete in climbing competitions. The aim of the Climbing Development Squad is to increase the performance standard of young climbers so that there is an increased representation and performance:
  1. At international climbing competitions;
  2. In trad climbing, sport climbing and bouldering.

The Climbing Development Squad is underpinned by three main philosophies, these are:

  1. Long Term Development – facilitation of lifelong active involvement in climbing;
  2. Climber Centred – coaching will centre on the goals and needs of each climber;
  3. Whole Person Approach – support personal development and consider lifestyle demands.

The Climbing Development Squad aims to develop in each member three key elements of climbing performance, these are:

  1. Mental;
  2. Technical;
  3. Physical.

The Climbing Development Squad will provide support to selected young climbers in four main ways:

  1. Coaching at training sessions;
  2. Provision of feedback;
  3. Provision of training direction;
  4. Coaching at development camps.

Selection Criteria for Climbing Development Squad 

The current selection criteria for the Talent Development Squad is set out below.

Becoming a member of the Climbing Development Squad

Membership of the Talent Development Squad is reviewed twice per year; in August and December. In August the membership slate is wiped clean - all climbers wether past members of the squad or potential new members to the squad are invited to apply to join the squad. In December the membership is reviewed - additional climbers who have demonstrated that they meet the selection criteria may be added to the squad, existing members who are not meeting the requirements leave the squad.
  • Applications can be made using the online application form below.
  • Applications close at 22:00 on Wednesday 10th of January.
  • Applicants must be members of Mountaineering Ireland.
  • Applicants must be born in 2001 to 2008 (inclusive).

Climbing Development Squad Training Sessions

The Climbing Development Squad meets approximately once per month through the winter to train together. During these training sessions each squad members works in a small group of peers under the guidance of a Development Coach. 
Training sessions will take place in two blocks across the following dates:

Block One – Autumn/Winter

17th September 2017;
15th October 2017;
3rd December 2017.

Block Two – Winter/Spring

28th January 2018;
25th February 2018;
14th April 2018.

Training sessions are delivered by experienced coaches at a 4:1 ratio. Payment of €110 per block of training sessions is made in advance.

Climbing Development Squad Training Camps 

Week long development camps take place in Fontainebleau, France at Halloween and Easter. Each camp will facilitate up to ten squad members. Each camp will cost approximately €550 per participant.
These development camps are only open to current members of the Climbing Development Squad and the Youth Climbing Team. 

For more information on talent development please contact Mountaineering Ireland.

Mountaineering Ireland Talent Development Officer - Damien O Sullivan
Telephone: +353 (0)1 625 1117