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Posted On: 24th Mar 2014

Climbing to the Top

Fixer Sianagh Gallagher
Young person from film
Young person on climbing wall

A York Fixer, who says para-climbing changed her life, hopes her campaign to get more people into the sport will reach new heights.

 

Seventeen-year-old Sianagh Gallagher was born with one arm, but says taking up climbing at the age of ten gave her renewed confidence in herself.

 

Now a member of Team GB's para-climbing squad, Sianagh wants others to reap the benefits she gained from the sport, which she believes anyone can do.

 

‘When I’m climbing I feel like nothing else matters,’ she says. ‘It’s just me pushing myself to go further, which is a lovely feeling to have.

 

‘I have had a difficult time growing up not being able to do certain things. But climbing gave me that self-belief to know that anything is possible.

 

‘My campaign is to show the sport is for everyone and if I can do it then others can too.’

 

With the help of Fixers, Sianagh has produced a film featuring several disabled climbers, who explain how scaling walls has helped them overcome personal difficulties.

 

The Fixer adds: ‘I really love the film. I wanted to make it exciting and show how exhilarating the sport is.

 

‘The main point we tried to get across is just how much climbing can improve your life.

 

‘When I tell people this is what I do, they’re usually a bit shocked. But at the climbing wall nobody cares about any disability you may have because they’re all there for one purpose. This is the message we tried to convey.’

 

Sianagh wants to show the film in local secondary schools and promote climbing as a universal sport.

 

She explains: ‘Unfortunately the sport is quite under represented so the aim is to inspire more people to give it a go.

 

‘The nature of climbing teaches trust and self-belief. It’s about taking a leap of faith and trying something out of the ordinary, so educating young people earlier could help them in later life.

 

‘You don’t truly know yourself unless you strive for bigger things. Climbing changed my life - perhaps it can change others too.’

 

Watch Sianagh's film 'Climbing With a Disability' at the top of this page.

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Author: N. Farooq

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