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UK’s 1st televised climbing competition to be broadcast from Highball Climbing Centre

in Leisure and tourism, News

The 7th ‘Big Flash’ Climbing Festival takes place from 11th-13th October at Highball Climbing Centre and is the first ever climbing event to be broadcast live on UK television.

With competition climbing becoming an official Olympic sport for the first time at Toyko 2020, this competition is set to attract both climbers and non-climbers to watch international standard sportsmen and women show off their strength, climbing techniques and problem solving.

Highball Climbing Centre, one of the top climbing centres in the country, will be welcoming some of the country’s most talented athletes including GB Climber Hannah Slaney and local rising star Katie Fisher.

The festival kicks off on Friday evening with a special edition of ‘That Boulder Comp’, Highball’s popular rookie event – suitable for children, adults and families who climb for fun and fitness.

The Big Flash, based on the The Flash Championship, will be structured in a world cup format with qualification taking place on Saturday 12th October. The semi-final and showcase final will be hosted on Sunday 13th October.

The final will be broadcast on Sunday 13th October from 6pm on FreeSports, the only free-to-air UK sports channel, expected to reach over 18 million homes.

The competition is open for anyone to enter and junior and senior GB athletes compete alongside local climbers. There is a cash prize of up to £500 for all the finalists, plus cash prizes for youth and senior teams and the Highball Hero Category, for the highest placing local climbers – male and female.

Mike Surtees, Highball Climbing Centre’s Managing Director, is confident the recognition of climbing as an Olympic sport will only fuel youngsters’ interest: “We are fortunate The Big Flash has gained such a great reputation amongst the GB athlete’s who come back year after year. With competition climbing becoming an Olympic sport next year, we’re thrilled to have secured the UK’s first live TV broadcast. I hope the event inspires people young and old, to visit their local climbing centre and get involved. Who knows, one of them may be a future world or olympic champion!”

Highball Climbing Centre hosts and organises the event for free, inviting competitors and attendees to make a donation to Climbers Against Cancer and Nelson’s Journey. Last year’s event raised £5,000 for Climbers Against Cancer and Climb Alongside Mental Health (C/A/M).

To register to climb, gain more information and find out T&Cs please visit: or