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Young Climber to Reach New Heights Thanks to Local Charity

A young climbing prodigy has been given a large funding boost by a local charity after he made an appeal for sponsorship.


Fourteen year old Alex Norton from Leicester has been awarded £400 by the Joe Humphries Memorial Trust (JHMT) to fund his high climbing ambitions.


Alex Training at local wall- The Tower, Leicester. Credit. Joe Humphries Memorial Trust
Alex Training at local wall- The Tower, Leicester. Credit. Joe Humphries Memorial Trust


Alex who is ranked number one in his group in the UK for lead climbing has been awarded the money by JHMT’s Inspire Awards, a small grant scheme that strives to help young people fulfil their goals in the arts, sports, community activities and entrepreneurship.


He has won the Junior Lead Climbing Cup, which involves scaling indoor walls using ropes, and has also been selected for the Great Britain Youth Climbing Team, which means that he will travel to Austria, Italy and France to compete.  The funding that Inspire Awards has given Alex will support him as he competes for Great Britain in the forthcoming months.


14 year old Alex Norton Climbing in a competition at Imst, Austria. Credit. Joe Humphries Memorial Trust


When asked how he felt receiving the grant, Alex said: “I’m delighted to have got a JHMT Inspire Award. It’s been a great honour to be selected for the GB Youth Climbing Team – it’s something I have worked long and hard for. I’m looking forward to taking on the role of a JHMT ambassador at club, national, and international level.”


Rhonda Olsen, who is a member of the Inspire Awards panel, praised Alex for his achievements, “Alex is exactly the sort of person the Inspire Awards were set up to support. Alex needs funding to help him represent Britain on an international stage, and that’s where we can help.” The trust got in touch with Alex after seeing his article in a local newspaper, answering his plea for help.


The Joe Humphries Memorial Trust are looking to support more talented and gifted young people, and this week saw the launch of their first set of Inspire Talks held at De Lisle College in Loughborough for students to attend.


Along with guest speakers, the events will showcase individuals that have already benefited from the grant scheme. On Thursday there were two individuals who received JHMT tee-shirts in recognition of their achievements; Josh Gilbert-Weavers who received funding to help him set up his own video production company, and Remy Madge who with the aid of Inspire Awards bought an amplifier to help her in her musical performances.


Climbing at Chee Dale, Derbyshire. Credit. Joe Humphries Memorial Trust


Local people who have a talent and a passion for something should apply to the Inspire Awards – we’re always pleased to consider applications.” said Rhonda.


The Joe Humphries Memorial Trust was set up after the death of Joe Humphries in 2012, who collapsed and died from sudden arrhythmic death syndrome (SADS). The charity has ever since been trying to raise awareness of the heart disease and how it can affect young people. Along with the Inspire Awards, JHMT runs life-saving training for sports clubs, and also runs an annual medical conference on SADS.


To find out more about SADS and the Inspire Awards scheme, please visit

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