The second day of Rock Junior 2007 was marked by intense sunshine and an unbridled joy for climbing. Second act of the great European Youth Climbing Festival in which the 500 plus unstoppable young climbers (aged 5 – 13) unleashed all their joy and sporting passion in Arco’s Climbing Stadium. And the numbers of climbers exceed almost 1500 if one adds all the parents and those who took part in this unique event.
All were united by a passion for this sport which goes way beyond country borders or language barriers. 18 different nations were represented, but all spoke the very same language which combined both playful fun and climbing. The colours of the rainbow shone on the T-shirts of the young climbers and also in the eyes of their parents who accompanied them and even took part in this authentic climbing celebration.
How better to sum up the meaning of these two days than with the words of Marco Scolaris, the president of the International Federation of Sports Climbing? “It’s always something. Year after year Rock Junior represents the growth of rock climbing worldwide. Arco is a symbol for this sport and Rock Junior is a formula which should catch on more and more. It’s impossible to ignore events and successes like this one, and not only do they give a true idea of how popular this sport is with young children, it is also extremely formative. And one really must underline” added the president of the international federation “the maximum effort, passion and professionalism of the organisers. The Rock Master Association is at the forefront in organising events of this sort.”
Organising an event the magnitude of Rock Junior is certainly no easy task. And keeping up with the irrepressible joy of hundreds of children certainly isn’t easy either. They climbed tirelessly on the fun Kid’s Rock circuit, moved on to the bouncy castles and gave it their best trying to reach the sweets on the top of the wall, before traversing the river on the cables. And the young European Squads enjoyed themselves just as much and showed great sportsmanship competing in the Under 14 Cup on the championship Rock Master wall.
The rhythm of the day was frenetic and intense. But it evolved into a perfect party, thanks also to the support of the Police force Mountain Rescue squads and the Mountain Guides Friends of Arco who, as always, guaranteed complete safety for all participants.
“I was surprised by how hard the routes were, these children are really impressive” is what Flavio Crespi had to say after demonstrating the final route of the Under 14 Cup. Crespi was invited as the testimonial of the event and the Police champion is the only Italian to have won the sports climbing World Cup. And if what we saw during the competition is anything to go by, then Crespi’s words shouldn’t be taken lightly!
All of tomorrow’s champions really gave it their best on the routes set by Leonardo Di Marino and Donato Lella. In the end the category A podium (born in ‘94/’95) belonged to Austria with Katharina Posch in first place after having battled in out in an exciting super final against her teammate Berit Schwaiger. Patrick Heisinger won the boy’s event. Category B (‘96/97) was won by Martin Bergant from Slovenia and Magdalena Pöll from Austria, ahead of Andrea Ebner from Italy. The youngest Category C (98/99/2000) was won by Ilaria Scolaris from Italy and teammate Alice Giannelli placed second, while Ram Lavin from Israel won the boy’s competition.
The day ended with the grand finale Family Rock; Angelo Seneci, the director of Rock Junior and Rock Master, explained that this final competition has evolved into the symbol of the entire event. The vertical relay race for mothers, fathers and their children has become an unmissable race which expresses what Rock Junior stands for: a climbing festival which unites all.
“Once again I have to thank all those who contributed in making this event a success” said Angelo Seneci. “And Rock Junior’s success depends on a great deal of people and institutions, from the city of Arco to the Autonomous Province of Trentino Alto Adige, to InGarda. From the route setters, the technical sponsors Cassin, La Sportiva and Salewa, to the speakers Andrea Gris and Manuela Sartori. Without forgetting the fundamental support of the Police force Mountain Rescue Squads, the Mountain Guides Friends of Arco and the Arco Climbing Association.”
It should be remembered that this team has worked together smoothly for years for another traditional event: the unmissable competition for the best of the best, the Arco Rock Master which will take place on 8 and 9 September 2007.
ROCK JUNIOR TEAM