having the coach of a National Rugby League team and Women’s National Basketball League team, we have an international coach living here — and people probably do not even realise.
Kim Kamo is national lead coach of the Australian rock climbing team.
She is originally from Canada, where she was a climber, and has a competitive sports background, having competed in her home country’s semi-professional National Women’s Hockey League.
“When they were looking for national coaches they just put an ad out and I applied … and I guess I just made their criteria,” Ms Kamo said.
This is the third year she has been the national coach and there are challenges to overcome being based in Townsville.
“Climbing is a really young sport right now in Australia and we’re basically working on creating some sort of framework about how the whole national coaching system is going to work,” Ms Kamo said.
“Because we are so young, we just really rely on passionate people.”
There are coaches throughout the country teaching different athletes.
The reason for the focus is competitive climbing has been included in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
“Pretty much all over the world, everyone is doing really well with recreational climbing, but on the competitive side different countries are lagging,” Ms Kamo said. “So now because climbing is going to be at the Olympics, Australia is really trying to catch up … so coaches in Australia are going to be a key ingredient to competitive climbing in the future.”
Ms Kamo now coaches young kids at Townsville’s Hot Rock Adventure Centre and says there is plenty of promising talent pushing through the ranks.