Rachel Carr - climbing coach in the making


Rachel Carr

What climbing qualifications do you have?

I have the Climbing Wall Award and I’ve attended Foundation Coach training and Development Coach training.

When did you first go climbing?

My mum’s friend took me to EICA Ratho to try it out and then my mum started taking me more and I finally got into youth groups at Ratho and progressed from there. I was involved in the Rocksters group which now learn NICAS but I wasn’t involved in that as I don’t think it was around then.

Who stands out as the person who introduced you to climbing?

I'd say the person that really got me into climbing and is the main reason I'm so keen on it now would be my old coach Neil McGeachy. He was always so encouraging and really understood my climbing more than anyone. I think my mum’s friend just took me as a fun thing to try but it was him that got me into competing and really trying hard.

Had you been involved in many/any other sports before climbing?

I did gymnastics for about eight years prior to starting climbing but stopped to focus on climbing.

Do you do any other sports now?

Not unless you count a bit of yoga.

What was it about climbing that appealed to you when you first started as a young girl?

It was the atmosphere around the people I started climbing with in the youth squad, it was very relaxed and fun but you were still able to push yourself.

What are the best and worst things about climbing?

The best thing is that you can climb at any age and ability and gender doesn’t tend to mean you’re strong or weak. You can be talented at any age with any amount of strength. The worst thing is that there’s not enough recognition or funding to support kids in our country so many drop out or miss out on the ability to reach a high level due to lack of coaching or money to pay for travelling.

Have you ever competed in a climbing competition?

I’ve done multiple competitions ranging from Youth Climbing Series to Lead Climbing World Cups and bouldering Europeans but all at a junior level so far. More recently I’ve competed in senior British comps and more local senior comps as well.

Competing in France

Have you been coached in climbing?

I have had unofficial coaching from 3 different coaches over the years but only one of them has had any official qualifications and these were on a monthly basis.

What impact did it have on you as a climber/person?

It motivated me more and gave me more confidence that the training I was doing was actually benefiting me. The sessions I was given made me stronger and they gave me the knowledge I needed to become a better climber.

What made you want to be a coach?

I like getting to help kids and see them improve with my help. It feels good to pass on knowledge that I feel I missed out on to try and make kids that are confident happy climbers.

Have you got much coaching experience?

I coach weekly at EICA Ratho for our youth squad and youth club and have done 1:1 coaching in the past for a few one-off sessions. I’ve helped out coaching the junior British bouldering team in my time as captain but that wasn’t quite coaching, more helping.

What are your personal climbing and coaching plans for the future?

I would like to potentially become GB junior team manager and coach the kids with that as well as taking on 1:1 coaching with people of all ages. I would like to be on the senior British bouldering team and achieve 8a outdoors in the future.

Bouldering in Fontainbleau