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Tree climbing for fun - breeding ground for future champs

Tree climbing for fun - breeding ground for future champs

Richard Tregoweth - Monday, February 07, 2011

Taranaki Open co-organizer, Neal Harding summed up Saturday's competition when he described it as "tree climbing for fun".

In his prize giving 'speech' Neal referred to the last three tree climbing comps (NTCA Pakaraka Gathering, Matt Glen's Fancy Dress and the Taranaki Open) as events where climbers competed, more for the fun of climbing and camaraderie, than serious competition.

It is events like the Taranaki Open that provide a low-stress entry point to the world of competitive tree climbing for many individuals and there wereplenty of first time competitors climbing in Stratford on Saturday. All the local climbers showed real potential for climbing competitively in the RegionalTCCs (with some outstanding performances - watch out James Kilpatrick and Scott Forrest).

Hopefully the Taranaki Open will become an annual event and in the process, assist in the development of New Zealand's pool of tree climbing talent.

Congratulations must go the Nicky Ward-Allen, Neal Harding and local arborist, Brendon Bellamy from Tricky Tree Specialists  , for organizing (and sponsoring) the Taranaki Open.

A lot of effort goes into the running of these events. And… to add the the list of requirements, Nicky and Neal also provided food for lunch and dinner… and then hosted visiting climbers on Saturday evening - no doubt they'll be happy the weekend is over!

More photographs (and results) will be posted over the next few days.

Climbing for fun! The 15m footlock proved to be a challenging definition of 'fun' for many of the climbers.

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