The Only Way Is Up Aiden Secures Place In British Junior Climbing Team
Tuesday 28th June 2016 @ 10:15 by Mark Phillip
Mossley & Saddleworth Sports

A Mossley teenager has been selected to represent the British Junior Climbing team at the European Youth Cup in August.

During his four year tenure with the British Youth team, 16-year-old Aiden Dunne has collected numerous impressive accolades.

Amongst his achievements are a fourth and third place finish at the British Lead Climbing Championships and Junior British Bouldering Championships respectively.

Aiden’s most notable achievement came last September after winning the Scottish Youth Championship – just nine months after falling and breaking both his legs!

The teenager’s bravery and determination throughout the testing period was hailed by his mother, Ruth.

Speaking to Reporter Sport, Ruth reflected on what turned out to be a miserable time for Aiden – and the family in general. She said: “It makes me quite emotional to talk about it, even after all this time.

“Aiden had a serious fall last year and broke both his legs.

“He was immediately airlifted to hospital where he had emergency treatment.

“He’s had external fixators to repair his bones, as well as frames on the outside of his legs to stabilise him.”

The injuries forced Aiden to have 24 pins attached to his legs for ten weeks following the accident, as well as casts for two weeks.

Despite the adversity, Aiden bounced back almost immediately and returned to Mossley Hollins High School to study.

Ruth admitted that she was in awe of her son’s resilience. She added: “I think it takes some level of determination to come through such injuries, so I was very proud of the way he handled it.

“After the fall, all he wanted to do was climb, which shows how much he loves it.”

As a consequence of his injuries, Aiden required coaching input, as well as a number of physiotherapy sessions.

Thankfully for Ruth, the financial implications of the treatment have been covered since April by SportsAid’s ‘Backing the Best’ funding scheme. She said: “Aiden was fortunately nominated by the national Climbing team to receive sports aid funding.

“It’s essentially aimed at elite athletes who don’t have a lot of money.”

SportsAid helps young athletes to overcome the financial obstacles they face in their bid to become Britain’s next generation of Olympians, Paralympians and world champions.

The cost of sport is one of their greatest challenges and despite already representing Great Britain at competitions all over the world, most receive no funding beyond what SportsAid provides through fundraising.

Upon being selected to represent Britain, Ruth spoke to Reporter Sport. She said: “I’m absolutely delighted that Aiden will be representing Britain at the cup next month.

“I think his place in the squad is justified and certainly testament to to effort he puts in throughout the year.

“I wish him – and the rest of the squad – the best of luck at the competition.”