Bearsden’s Natalie scales the heights

natalie berry
natalie berry

CLIMBER Natalie Berry won gold and silver at the Edinburgh International Climbing Arena (EICA) on Sunday.

She scaled the heights while competing in the first ever British speed climbing championship to be held in the UK, beating Shauna Coxsey (18).

This was revenge for the former Bearsden Academy pupil who had earlier just been beaten by Coxsey for the senior crown of the British Lead Climbing Championship.

Berry (19), from Milngavie Road in Bearsden, missed out on the double gold by just one move.

The Edinburgh University language student was very pleased with her result as she has not been had a number of set backs recently.

She said: “This was a pretty good result as I was not as best prepared as I could be.

“I have a tendon tear which has meant I cannot train as much as I would have liked to. I have also had food poisoning which means I don’t have much energy.”

But on a more positive note she added: “Both climbs were very close. Shauna topped out and I was only two holds before the top behind her.

The EICA is the only venue in the UK that is up to international standards for speed climbing and was used for last year’s World Championships.

In both climbing events Natalie was up against an international field of competitor including Russians, Polish and Austrians.

These nations are generally seen as producing some of the top speed climbers in the world.

In recognition of her track record in the sport Natalie has been invited, along with several other top climbers, and special guest of honour Dame Kelly Holmes, to meet the Minister of Sport, Hugh Robertson and several other MPs at the House of Commons on November 2, to discuss the possibility of pushing to make climbing an Olympic sport at the 2020 Games.