The only way is up for Muirhead youngster Daniel

Champion climber Daniel Smith, from Muirhead, with father Mark
Champion climber Daniel Smith, from Muirhead, with father Mark

A schoolboy from Muirhead is hitting the heights after being selected for the Great Britain Junior Climbing Team.

Daniel Smith (12) was picked following two successful years in the Scotland team and two high-profile second place finishes at the British Bouldering and Climbing Championships.

A first year pupil at St Aloysius’ College in Glasgow, Daniel has been a member of his school’s climbing squad since he was in Primary 5.

His performances with his school team earned the talented young climber a spot with Scotland’s Junior Climbing Team where he has impressed national level coaches for the past two years.

2015 has been a ground-breaking year for Daniel in competitive climbing and he achieved two second place finishes at the Junior British Bouldering Championships and the Junior British Climbing Championships.

Des Bagshaw, coach of Daniel’s climbing team and head of outdoor education at St Aloysius’, feels his success is something to be enjoyed by everyone involved.

He said: “It’s always a delight to have another St. Aloysius’ College Climbing squad member selected to represent Great Britain.

“It has been a path Daniel was destined to take from a very early age and credit must go to the college’s coaching team along with the tireless family support, his external coaches and of course his own infectious enthusiasm, energy and commitment for all things vertical.”

Daniel is one of only four Scottish climbers to be selected for the Great Britain team and is the only climber under the age of 14 to be picked.

However being younger than his fellow climbers is not a new experience for Daniel who became the youngest person ever to climb all of Scotland’s 282 Munro Mountains back in 2013, at the age of nine.

Daniel’s ability as a climber has continued improving since and Mr Bagshaw thinks there could be much more to come from the St Aloysius’ schoolboy.

He said: “I certainly see this milestone as the very start of what will be an exciting and highly rewarding journey for Daniel.

“I look forward to new boundaries being set and the many new accomplishments a talented climber such as Daniel will undoubtedly achieve in the future.”