Founded by Shauna Coxsey in 2011, the Women's Climbing Symposium is an annual one day event which connects hundreds of passionate climbers from across the globe. Enriched by the energy and expertise of exceptional women coaches, athletes, professionals and academics who dedicate their time to developing women's participation and inclusion within the sport, the WCS programme includes:
> coaching workshopS
An exciting opportunity to develop key climbing skills and techniques under professional guidance from some of the world's top climbers and coaches. Previous workshops have covered Dynamic Climbing, Footwork, Power Endurance, Steep Climbing, Slopers and Volumes, Crack Climbing, Fingerboard Training, Strength & Conditioning, Ropework, Yoga for Climbers and so much more!
> FOCUS TALKS
Exploring the barriers women face within our sport, specialised experts and experienced members of our community share insightful (and often highly amusing) talks on topics requested by yourselves. Past subjects include careers in the outdoors, climbing and the menstrual cycle, post-birth core exercises, injuries and prevention, psychological tools to manage fear of falling, and how to pee in full winter mountain gear!
> HEADLINE SPEAKERS
Highly accomplished female athletes who have pushed the boundaries inside and outside of the climbing world take the main stage to share their their stories. Previous headliners include the inspirational Lynn Hill, Shauna Coxsey, Hazel Findlay, Lisa Rands, Anoushé Husain and Caroline Ciavaldini (to name a few!).
I am so grateful that the WCS exists. The sense of community and support has been key for someone like me who started climbing later in life, and who never considered myself particularly athletic/sporty. I also love that the WCS is proactively seeking to be more inclusive, supporting and providing opportunities to women from underrepresented groups.
Though an indoor event, the Women's Climbing Symposium is not just for those who climb inside but instead seeks to connect, develop and inspire climbers with interests across the climbing world: from indoors to outdoors, bouldering to trad, and local projects to global goals. The focus talks, headline speakers and coaching workshops all aim to provide varied content that will educate and motivate our most crag-hardened veterans as much as they seek to inspire any new members of the climbing community.
Held at a different indoor climbing wall each year, and with exclusive use of the facility, we aim to create an event which is warm, welcoming, safe and supportive for all bodies, climbing experience and grades. Our diversity as women is to be championed; as such we welcome all those who identify as women to the symposium.
For a true flavour of the Women's Climbing Symposium take a look at our past events. For more information on how WCS has developed over the years, Epic TV visited WCS19 and interviewed professional climbers Emma Twyford, Katy Whittaker and Shauna Coxsey (WCS founder) on their thoughts about gender equality and women's only climbing events:
WCS is amazing, it's become a key part of my year. Me and my bestie go and let it inspire our training and reflect on our progress. It's like a climbing appraisal, but not sad and depressing! I love it.