So in's2018 and I've just been selected for the Team GB Paraclimbing Team .
However, things haven't always been so rosey…
It's been a long journey, but things are starting to look up. I've finally come to terms with my sight loss (but don't accept it!) and I'm now very happily married to fellow climber Keely.
How did I get to this point? Well, In 2013 I noticed a small patch in my left eye, so I went to the opticians. They couldn’t tell me what the problem was and referred me to Derby Hospital. After nearly a year of tests, still no understanding of why, and my left eye was deteriorating further. I was eventually referred to Nottingham who quickly diagnosed with Macula Degeneration. This said, still no explanation, especially as my DNA test for Stargarts was negative. Therefore, I was referred AGAIN, to Moorfields in London.
At this point, the sight in my left eye was 3/60, and my right was beginning to show signs of issues too. By the time I got to see Prof Webster, the UK expert, my right eye was really deteriorating, and my worst fears were realised - being registered SI and told I must stop driving. This was the beginning of some dark days, but with the support from my family and friends, and lots of counselling, I am getting through it.
So where does climbing come in?. Well in 2004 I moved to Derby to work for Rolls Royce, and as a way to unwind I started to climb I've never been particularly sporty, and never "found my sport" until I started to climb. Climbing has allowed me to meet lots of fantastic people, and to improve my fitness and physique.
So when my sight started to go, climbing was the rock I needed. Although it was getting more difficult and frustrating, my good friends Trevor Brown and Owen Cosslett helped me to carry on, even helping me to continue climbing on our yearly trip to Font.
Since then i have competed for the GB team in many international competitions, achieving Gold in 2022 at the Austrian Masters and Swiss World Cup, and also Silver at the Russian World Championship in 2021, giving me a World Ranking of #2
With 2022 came the no Covid travel restrictions, and as such a full IFSC Para Colander.
Unfortunately the team was unable to travel to the USA WC in Salt Lake City, but there was the Austrian WC in IInnsbruck , the Austrian Masters Imst and the Swiss World Cup in Villars.
Innsbruck was the first comp of our season, and unfortunately my category was merged with the other VI categories.
The qualifiers went well, topping the first climb, and slapping the finish hold in the second, putting me in 3rd place going into the final.
The final was an epic pull fest, with and enormous bridge hold on the roof. This was the only opportunity for a rest, but wasn't enough for me, and although i made it on the head wall i was unable to top, and came on in 4th.
That said, if the categories weren't merged, it wold have been a silver.
Imst was a couple of week later, and consisted of 5 climbs over 2 days, where i managed to go into the second day in fierst place. The final 2 climber was steep and intense, but i was still bale to top one, and managed to take the gold medal.
Villars was a week later, so i spend the week training in Austria before moving across to Villars in Switzerland.It was just before i travel that i began to feel sick, thinking o just had a cold i continued on.
The Swiss WC was amazing, 2 great qualifiers, which were at the very top end of the grades, especially as i was feeling worse as the days went on.
The final was a fantastic event, where the only think that kept me going was Red bull and Paracetamol, but i still managed to out cloimb the competion and take to the top spot for my first WC Gold medal.
It wasn't until after the comp that i discovered i had Covid, so not a bad performance considering.
After nearly 2 years of Covid restrictions , the 2021 Russian Word Championship was able to finally go ahead.
With the frustrations of Covid, it was great to finally be competing again, and the Russian WCH was an amazing event to finally break the international silence.
After a great permeance in the 2 qualifying climbs, where i was the only athlete to top both climbs.
The final was a fantastic event with all the bells and whistles. There was some confusion prior to the final, were unfortunately i was unable to get a proper warm up, but i pushed hard and was able to take the silver medal, and the world number 2 ranking.
2019 fantastic one for team Slocock, I achieved gold at the world masters, gold at the para blokfest event, bronze at the world championships and gold at the UK para comp.
I'm still struggling with some injuries, but pushing through and working hard to make 2020 an outstanding year, especially as in Jan I turned 40!