Dutch National Bouldering Championships was a blast!

Tiba Vroom from Wildflower Climbing tells you more about the organisation of the Dutch Bouldering Nationals 2023: “When we received a phone call from the National Climbing Federation, the NKBV, with the question if we wanted to host the NK Boulder 2023, there were two thoughts going through my mind: yes, we’d love that! But also, how are we going to organise this in six weeks? Because that was the amount of time we had left before the event would happen. And there was a lot to be done.”

“Besides the obvious things as emptiying the bouldering walls for the routesetters, we needed to think about things as marketing, contact with the local authorities, sponsors and press, making sure we had food and drinks available, putting the bleachers up etc.

We quickly bumped into our first obstacle: our entire climbing wall would be used for the competition boulders. Therefor there wouldn’t be any space available for the isolation area and warm-up wall. Fortunately, the organisation of the event happened in good collaboration with the NKBV and we could figure out a way to place the portable bouldering wall from the federation behind our climbing walls, creating an isolation and warm-up area. This example is typical for the whole six weeks of preparation. You run into problems all the time, you brainstorm with the different organisations, and you fix it together. Because during this period, getting the event to run as smoothly as possibly is for a short amount of time your very highest priority.

The moment we knew we would be hosting the National Championships, we gathered as many volunteers as possible. Many of these were our regular customers, but also some new faces wanted to contribute to making the NK possible. They helped us for example with taking the holds out of the walls and washing them and clearing out the areas for the warm-up wall and the bleachers.

On the Wednesday until the Friday before the event, the routesetters came over to fill up our walls with the boulders for the competition. We just needed to make sure thatcher holds would be ready for them and they had something to eat and drink. Now that the routes have been put up on the walls, the whole event suddenly came very close, which was really exciting!

On the day of the NK Boulder itself, the most important thing was that everybody would arrive at the right place in the right time, the spectators, the judges, the bar staff and the competitors. Inbetween the semi finals and the final rounds, the boulders were reset so the holds needed to be into place for the routesetters. Some quick vacuum cleaning of the mats, and it was all up to the judges again to make sure that the next round would go to plan. Of course, there were things to do after the bouldering rounds, such as cleaning up, taking down the bleachers and filling the climbing walls up with some extra boulders. The NK final boulders stayed on the walls for a few weeks, but we added boulders in every level so that everyone had something to climb on again.

Our main experience with the organisation of the NK boulder, is that events like this are made possible by working together. The ĀTMA team, the Wildflower Climbing Gym, together with our volunteers, the NKBV, bar staff, routesetters and of course the boulderers themselves. Everyone has their task and that made the NK Boulder 2023 an amazing bouldering competition and great experience for everyone was part of the event.

Dutch National Bouldering Championships 2023