New Zealand will send its largest team to the 2014 World Youth Climbing Championships next month.
New Caledonia is hosting the World Championship from September 19-23 and the close proximity to New Zealand has enabled Climbing NZ to send 13 athletes.
With that number, the New Zealand squad believe they have their best chance of placing in a World Championship which is usually dominated by Europeans.
But Carmilla Ansin, the assistant coach for Climbing New Zealand (CNZ) and Auckland coach, is not putting any pressure on her young charges.
"Competing at this level will be a whole new experience for most of them," said the 33-year-old. "My role is to support and facilitate their learning irrespective of their placing."
The athletes are fortunate that the competition is still going ahead in Noumea.
The annual event was almost moved to Europe after a fire destroyed the outdoor climbing wall in Noumea.
The fire, which vandals lit last Christmas Eve, destroyed the 2.5 million ($3.9 million) structure.
Fortunately the French Federation of Mountaineering and Climbing (FFME) committed to rebuild the wall in time to save the event in the South Pacific.
Ansin said it is great to be a part of a sport that is primarily made up of community-oriented people.
"This is evident both in the reconstruction of the wall and also in New Zealand with the hosting of events which are run by a contingent of volunteers."
Back home, the Auckland Sport Climbing Club (ASC) has been working with the local wall operators to help young climbers take their climbing to the national and even international stage.
The ASC is again hosting The Edge Series, three one-day competitions targeted at schools with a low entry fee.
The Edge Series opened at Glen Eden on August 2 and attracted 70 climbers.
The next Edge Series events are in Hamilton on the September 6 and Panmure on October 25.
Ansin coaches Erica Gatland and Daniel Newth in Auckland and said they are "rapidly developing into very proficient climbers".
Other climbers of note are Sian Moffat and George Sanders who have delivered standout performances on the national circuit.
She expects them to be competitive in New Caledonia.
"Each member of this team has the capacity to develop into a top level climber given practice, persistence, patience combined with passion."
Ansin loves seeing young athletes excel in the sport of climbing.
She started climbing in 2005 and was instantly hooked. Since then, she has created a life with the sport at the centre of it.
"I spend between one and three months annually away from home on personal climbing trips in New Zealand and abroad.
"When I am not actively pursuing my own climbing goals, I share my passion for climbing with others, as a climbing coach."
Sport climbing has been a regular feature at the X-Games and was on a shortlist of new sports for the 2020 Olympics but failed to make the cut. Sport climbing is featuring this week at the Nanjing Youth Olympics in China as a demonstration sport.
Sport Climbing's popularity has grown with the younger generation but its closely related cousin of bouldering is now rapidly growing in popularity.
Bouldering's appeal is mainly due to it requiring less equipment, no ropes, no harness and no belayer. It is a shorter and more intense version of lead climbing.
The bouldering competitions are attracting bigger turnouts. The Alpine Club's National Indoor Bouldering Series (NiBS) has become very popular.
The final national indoor bouldering competition is being held at the Extreme Edge in Panmure on August 30 and is poised to be the largest event yet.
Ansin encouraged any keen climbers to get involved.
"If you really want to grow as a climber then you need to be proactive and persistent. One needs to make things happen ... by fostering relationships within the community and [getting] quality information or advice."
World Youth Climbing Championship
When: September 19-23
Where: Noumea, New Caledonia
For more information visit: http://www.ifsc-climbing.org/
The NZ Team to compete at the World Youth Climbing Championship: Carly McIlory, Lucy Whitehead, Josh Cornah, Nathan Bothamley, Erica Gatland, Maria Martinus, Sian Moffit, Daniel Newth, George Sanders, Mark Longmire, Matai Lockwood, Aiyana Grigsby, Zach Schuster-Barton.
Edge Series events
Event 2 - Hamilton, September 6
Event 3 - Panmure, October 25
For more information: www.aucklandclimbing.co.nz
National Indoor Bouldering Competition
When: August 30
Where: Extreme Edge in Panmure