Rock Climbing Olympic Hopeful Leah Jeffries
Leah is a 15 year old rock climber from NSW who has been climbing since age 10. She has always had an urge to climb, from a very early age she would scale tall trees which later led to rock climbing with her dad. She started competing in climbing competitions in 2015. We are proud to be apart of helping her achieve her olympic dreams.
Tell us a little bit about your adventure.
My project consists of representing Australia at the 2018 Climbing World Championships in Innsbruck, Austria. I will be the youngest member of the Australian Open Climbing Team. This is the most prestigious rock climbing competition in the world and is held every 2 years. The World Championships attract the best climbers from around the world and will have over 700 athletes from 65 countries. I am currently ranked 4th in Australia on the Bouldering Team which is an amazing achievement for someone who is 15. To be able to compete at such an incredible event at such a young age and against the world’s best climbers would be a dream come true.
What is your inspiration behind your adventure?
Having watched Climbing World Cups and World Championships and being inspired by the incredible climbers overseas it has always been my dream to compete alongside them. It was a huge achievement to make the team at such a young age and be able to realise this dream. My long term goal is to represent Australia at the Olympics, competing at the Climbing World Championships will be an important step in achieving this goal. It will be inspiring to be with the World’s best climbers and learn from them. This competition will show me where I am ranked in the World and what I need to do to pursue my dreams.
How do you hope you can inspire others through your adventures?
I hope to inspire other young females to give adventurous sports a go. I am just an ordinary 15 year old who has found something I love doing and am passionate about. I hope I will inspire other girls to find something they are passionate about. I’m so grateful that I have rock climbing in my life.
Why do you believe that it is important for women to be represented in adventurous pursuits?
I believe it is important for young females to be represented in adventurous pursuits, not only does this empower the person doing the adventure but it is such an encouragement for all young girls to see fellow females achieve amazing things. Part of what I love about rock climbing is inspiring other young girls to follow their dreams and that anything is possible with hard work and determination.
Who are some of your heroes when it comes to adventure?
Alex Honnold is a hero of mine because he can stay level headed in the scariest situations. Among many achievements, he was the first person to climb El Capitan (a 900 m tall cliff) without a rope or protection. He inspires me to focus, believe in myself and remain calm in all aspects of life.
Monique Forestier is a hero of mine because she is an inspirational climber and coach. She is Australia’s best outdoor female climber. Monique is also my coach and has been influential in my climbing journey.
What are your favourite words to live by?
Give everything 110% and never give up.
Finish this sentence
I never go on an adventure without a smile and good preparation.
What is your one piece of advice to women who might be new to the concept of adventure?
Just start! There is no time like the present to begin planning your next (or first) adventure and have fun with it. Do something that excites you and scares you a little bit. Something that you will find challenging and rewarding.