"Recently I won the Mensa Child Genius Competition and I believe that it was possible because of the academic skills and the skills to perform in front of an audience and to keep calm under pressure that I acquired at Hesketh House."

Sharon Daniel, Girls' Division pupil

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Climbing Sisters Reach New Heights

Friday, 29 January 2016

Fourteen year old Zoe Grainger from Bolton School Girls’ Division remains in pole position in the U16 category at an indoor Winter Bouldering League being held at The Hangar in Liverpool. The Year 9 girl is competing against significantly older competitors; she came 2nd in the opening round and 1st in Round 2 before just missing out on a podium finish in Round 3 and finishing 3rd on Friday 15 January. Her younger sister, Bella who is aged 11 and at Hesketh House, Bolton School’s Junior Girls’ School, sits just outside the top 3, which is an outstanding achievement for someone so young. Two rounds remain of the competition, which will take place on 5 February and 11 March.  

The girls first started climbing when they were just five years old but only started regular training and competing in the last few years. They climb regularly with The Academy at Manchester Climbing Centre as well as an academy in the Lakes. Both girls now regularly take part in competitions.

Mr Kettle, climbing coach at Bolton School said: “Zoe is aiming to get into the Team GB squad; given her current standard, which is highly impressive for her age, then this is definitely a realistic goal. She is climbing at a higher standard as a Year 9 pupil than most of our School’s other climbers, including those in Y13, male or female, in the last 10 years. She currently sport climbs with ropes at level 7a, which is higher than any student at Bolton School, and her highest bouldering grade is around v6/7. The two girls attended a first inter schools competition with Mr Bradley at RockOver last year and helped us achieve a 2nd place finish. In March both girls are taking part in a school climbing trip to Fontainebleau which will give them some good outdoor climbing experience.”

The girls were delighted to receive a good luck Tweet message from climbing legend and number one female boulderer Shauna Coxsey.


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Isabella and Zoe Grainger are performing outstandingly well in the Hangar

Isabella and Zoe Grainger are performing outstandingly well in the Hangar's Winter Bouldering League

Zoe climbing at the Hangar

Zoe climbing at the Hangar

Bella climbing at the Hangar

Bella climbing at the Hangar