A Trophy Carries Dust, Memories Last Forever

Posted by Adisal Tjung on

A Trophy Carries Dust, Memories Last Forever

The National Schools Bouldering Championships (NSBC) has always held a special place in the hearts of TeamNUS Climbing Girls and is a competition that we spend months preparing for. To make sure our girls will be at their peak, our coach, Hilman, and the executive committee (exco), switched into competition gear and upped the ante on our training. All this made possible with the facilities provided by Onsight Climbing Gym.

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We must be swift as the coursing river with all the strength of a great typhoon

We shifted our focus from power endurance to a more technical- and movement-based training. All of a sudden, the slab became our new best friend.

Onsight’s problems at NSBC would be mysterious as the dark side of the moon challenging and beta-intensive. To tackle that, we put more emphasis into mental training to get our head in the game.

Previously, our focus on power endurance was enforced with our painfully delicious pancake trainings that left us lying on the mats... pining over McDonald’s hotcakes.

Now, we returned to Flash Training. Having only one attempt to solve the problem kept us on our toes. ONE!!! If we messed up our start, slipping on our starting foot-holds, *BUZZER* YOU’RE OUT! Even baseball allows more strikes.

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One attempt gone

Flash training took its toll on some of us, dampening our mood due to the frustration, the anger and all the tears when we failed. However, it undeniably reignited our spark and desire to try even harder on the next routes. Nothing beats the sense of accomplishment from matching our hands on the finishing hold(like matching our hands on a certain trophy)!

As the adage goes: “Treat your trainings like competitions and your competitions like trainings”. The exco hosted mock competitions and set the competitive tone in practice. During trainings, we were given sets of three problems to complete within 15 minutes. Due to these time constraints, the trainings were fast-paced and helped us to train up our planning skills, mental and endurance.

If you want to know more about our training plans and how to mentally prepare for competitions, read our previous blog post here:




The cheers filled the hall as we entered together after our warm up session at Onsight Climbing Gym. It was finally time to translate our past few months of training into the short 19 minutes on the wall. Anxiety and excitement filled our stomachs with butterflies; too full for pancakes today! Donning our signature blue TeamNUS shirt and brand new E9 shorts/tights, we dusted our hands with our TPI chalk, ready to tackle the six boulder problems on the wall.

As expected, Onsight dished out problems of various styles, challenging different strengths of each climber. There were technical routes on the slab wall, powerful routes on the inclined wall and even dynamic routes to add some fun into the competition. To qualify for the finals, one has to prove that they are truly a master of all the elements.


Featuring our Captain Pat on finals route 1. Photo by: Ang Wee Pin

For many of us, it was our first time wearing the highly raved E9 clothing and it did not disappoint. Making moves on the wall was a breeze as it provided us with the comfort and flexibility we needed on the wall, allowing us to climb with ease of mind. Moreover, we could contort ourselves and commit to even the weirdest moves in style! These bottoms get the seal of approval from TeamNUS Climbing Girls! If you are interested in getting your own pair, you can check out E9’s shorts and tights, only available at Onsight Climbing Gym.


Climb climb fashion baby.

Photo by: Ang Wee Pin

Back to the competition - the whistle had blown once more - 1 minute to go, with every competitor fighting with all that they have left. The cheering intensified and the tension became so palpable you could cut it with a knife. It was time to make it or break it. *BEEP* Time’s up.

We left the competition zone satisfied, knowing that everyone fought hard and tried their best. Waiting for the results was even harder than the six problems we faced. Upon seeing the results, our hearts were full! TeamNUS Climbing Girls managed to defend our championship title once again! To add to the excitement, three of our girls had even made it to the finals. Months of hard work at Onsight Climbing Gym had finally paid off. We really could not be more grateful to our sponsors, Onsight Climbing Gym, for the facilities and equipment provided.

Photos by: Ang Wee Pin, TeamNUS Climbing Girls

Climbing is a sport that caters to everyone, regardless of your gender, size or age. No matter how difficult a problem, there is always a way to finish it. It is a sport that offers you the flexibility to come up with your own unique beta, challenging you mentally as you approach the problem onsight. It is heartwarming to see the climbing scene grow over the years. Our numbers are growing in leaps and bounds. While there were roughly 40 varsity girls competing in NSBC 2016, the number has almost doubled this year with 70 varsity girls competing! However, the growth in our sport is not only defined by the increased number of sign-ups during competitions.

Younger, upcoming climbers are now stepping up to the plate, and with stronger climbers, we also expect higher climbing standard set at gyms and in competition. Heading in this direction, we can definitely expect future competitions (NSBC and beyond) to be even more creative yet challenging! As a sport, this pushes all climbers to strive for excellence. It serves as a motivation to improve and inspire others to always push beyond their glass ceiling and to never settle for anything less!


As a competitive team, TeamNUS Climbing has always instilled the values that we are one big family. Despite the common misconception that it is an individualistic sport, climbing is actually a sport that requires a lot of teamwork and support. Whether we were competing or not, each individual’s presence made a difference. Climbing side-by-side, the climbers are able to support each other through the routes, sharing their mistakes and helping each other along the way. Although standing on the sidelines for this competition, our supporters encouraged us unconditionally and helped to induce the psych wave! These values shine through as we see the guys and girls of TeamNUS Climbing get together to support both the Men and Women Varsity Divisions.


Photos by: TeamNUS Climbing Girls

Article by: Kathleen Wong, Kimberly Tan, Melanie Ng, Quintessence Liu, Verosil Patrice Claire Bayo, Yee Yun Jie

March 2017

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