By Lynn Stokes, MBE
Harriet Sheppard,16, started climbing at the Boulder Barn/Taste for Adventure aged eight. She would attend regularly and followed Sam Stokes and Dan Wardle around – they were always on hand to help her. As Harriet grew in the sport, they would incorporate fun training sessions like games and physical training, making every moment at the Boulder Barn full of fun. Her love for climbing began.
Harriet was introduced to climbing outdoors by Sam, but it was indoor climbing where the competitions were taking place. Harriet entered a Midland Youth Climbing series; lead climbing was part of it. Undeterred, Harriet asked Sam to help her grasp the basics of lead climbing, allowing her to compete. On the day of the competition she flashed the first lead route, and the judge said: “Well done! How long have you been lead climbing?” Harriet calmly replied, “About two hours”, leaving the judge open mouthed. She came 2nd that day and 2nd overall in the series.
Last year Harriet came third in the Adidas Rockstars competition, receiving her prize from Britain’s former Boulder World Champion Shauna Coxsey. Harriet has just entered the BMC Youth Climbing Series, competing against some of the best female climbers throughout the region, and she is currently in 1st place. One more boulder round and two lead climbing events await Harriet this year, and the top three competitors will be invited to the Grand Final which takes place in April. Sam’s coaching and Harriet’s hard work over the years have paid off.
Sam’s mentorship of Harriet is much more than just climbing coaching – their work includes training, fitness and competition strategy too. Harriet also works at the Boulder Barn, which has helped her gain more insight into coaching, health and safety, and working in a climbing business and charity environment.
There is no doubt that Harriet’s rise from a childhood passion to a successful competitor is down to her determination, dedication and hard work, but also the support and encouragement from Sam, Dan and the rest of the team at the Boulder Barn. It goes without saying that the camaraderie of the regulars at the Boulder Barn helps Harriet as well as everyone. They all push themselves and encourage each other to be the best that they can be. Harriet is always happy knowing that she is in good hands, and gives it all she can.
If you’d like to find out more, please visit our website or get in touch via Facebook or Instagram. Even better, why not stop by for a chat? Student Sessions, Parties & Groups, One-to-One Private Coaching and Bespoke Training Programmes are also available.
Please note that registration and booking are needed for some of the sessions, and some sessions may be temporarily paused due to the current restrictions. Please get in touch or visit the website to find out more.
The Boulder Barn climbing facility is part of the Taste for Adventure (TFA) family, a legacy of its visionary leader, the late Brummie Stokes MBE BEM. Along with his wife Lynn, Brummie’s dream was that adventurous activities should be available to all, regardless of age, fitness or finances. The charity was founded in 1991, and over the years TFA has taken children and adults on many an adventure, from rock climbing to expeditions to Everest Base camp to name but a few!
The Boulder Barn offers affordable, fun and social bouldering in Hereford. The centre boasts a fantastic bouldering wall suitable for all levels, a Moonboard, the Figure of Ate café with seating area and a mezzanine/viewing area if you just fancy a coffee while watching the climbers in action. Click here to view the COVID safety measures at The Boulder Barn
BOULDER BARN CLIMBING CENTRE & Figure of Ate Café are located at Holmer Trading Estate, College Road, Hereford HR1 1JS . Tel: 01432 359 392
Facebook & Instagram: Boulder Barn
For more details about COVID SATETY MEASURES please view the website link below
Founder and editor of FitNet.
Previously gymnastics coach, massage therapist and personal trainer with 20 years of experience. Former gymnast and dancer.