2018-19 President's Report
Welcome to everyone and thank you for coming tonight to Stair Climbing Australia’s Annual General Meeting for season 2018-2019.
Overview of the Season
It’s a great feeling, being part of Australia’s fastest growing sport and witnessing the wave of contagion sweep over the country. We have achieved much, yet are able to take a moment to look with keen anticipation for the year ahead and beyond.
From just five founding members in October 2018, to 72 members at the time of writing equals a 1,340 % increase in our first year (how good are statistics?!). Our members are local, international, elite and recreational. They look fantastic in the white yellow green and black of the singlets, and are recognised world-wide. We also have a stair climbing doggo, and Ember is probably our most popular member. We thank Natalie for being her PA and paying the membership fees.
Benefits to being a member include connections; being part of the stair climbing community, meet-ups, training sessions, training tips, having a say in the sport, entry discounts, special offers, as well as being eligible for National Rankings. Our members share their knowledge about the efficiency and effectiveness of stair climbing as an exercise modality and act as health advocates in their communities. We thank all our members for trail blazing Stair Climbing in Australia and cannot wait to watch you all get fitter, faster, healthier and happier towards 2020.
Beyond our formal members we have an ever-expanding presence with our social media followers. Our Facebook page has 946 followers, an increase of around 200 since takeover a year ago, and Instagram has exploded with 511 followers at the time of writing.
What we do and show is all good news, and we want all our members to be proud of this.
History, Governance and Sustainability
In mid-2018, three keen stair climbers gathered to discuss reviving Stair Climbing Australia. As background, Stair Climbing Australia was an unaffiliated organisation, started by Adam Ryan and Chris Price and encompassed a website, training information, a Facebook page, YouTube channel and singlets / merchandise. As Adam and Chris expanded their families and moved away from Melbourne for work, the brand and organisation lapsed. They had since passed the Facebook page over to Susie King of King Performance, in a caretaker role. The website had been disbanded.
Adsy and Pricey have been great for our sport. Their initial enthusiasm and expertise were infectious, as were their pioneering efforts in finding training buildings and engaging race organisers. We thank them for their contributions, and this committee will continue to engage with the guys, including rolling out some of their training videos from time to time.
They were hard core!
The founding members of SCA met and discussed reviving this brand and making the sport “a real sport”. A special thank you must go to Jason Williams for creating our Constitution and ensuring we are legal entity ad sport, as per the rules of a Sport under Sport Australia.
Stair climbing now sits under the umbrella of Athletics Australia as a sport in Australia.
We are Stair Climbing Australia, which is deliberately not Tower Running Australia, or Stair Running or Stair Racing Australia. We are a sport that includes racing, but also more importantly a sport and exercise modality available to almost all.
SCA became a financial person when we opened a bank account with Bendigo Bank. The account is structured so that two signatories are required to make any changes to the account. Any changes to financial accounts must be approved by the treasurer and by the committee at meetings.
I would like to say a huge thank you to the SCA Committee in its first year. These guys have worked tirelessly, driven by their passion for the sport and enthusiasm to see it offer all the benefits they see for physical and mental health for life. There is so much that goes on behind the scenes, and this group are continually considering new ideas and opportunities.
They work hard at looking after and nurturing relationships with race directors, media personalities, sponsors and of course our members. They genuinely want to see our community happier and healthier through Stair Climbing.
I would like to thank:
Jason Williams (Treasurer) The Brains and workhorse behind the scenes.
Maria Piemontese (Secretary) THE Step Mumma and bringer together of people.
Ed Manktelow (Committee) who wins Coaches Award, Most Improved, and Most Stealth at seeking training venues but also Closest to being arrested.
Scott Beveridge (Committee) who joined in March 2019 and has contributed greatly to the Video Blogs, QLD events and seeking new and potential sponsor partners.
It’s been a huge and vibrant year of racing, and we will include the National Rankings at the time of writing at the bottom of this document. Just a few special mentions in this report, and the rest of the unbelievable racing achievements are on the race reports on the website.
Eureka Tower 2018 kicked off with wins to both Matt Curtain and Meg Reeves. Jason, Mark and Alice took part in the launch event with Fred Hollows. It was the first event with the new organisers and the SCA presence was fresh and noted.
Q1 - Saw the unveiling of the singlets! Also, our first Everest Team and Base Camp. This was a really exciting event with the SCA team presenting a united but inclusive front, and the first event where we had a visible brand and a group to be a part of. Steve Corrie held a Q&A evening for the Everest Competitors that brought together many of our current members. Mark and Alice were interviewed, and went on to take wins in the elite field; Mark finished in a time of 6:48, and myself in 8:56. The real winners were all those who completed multiple climbs for the first time. It was the beginning of a great new side to events!
We move through more events; Vertical Night Sprint, Climb for Cancer, River to Rooftop Step Up for MS, each with SCA presence and social events. Common names on the top dais were Jason Williams, Meg Reeves and Brooke Logan.
Sydney Tower Just gone! With TWO Everest Teams and many more celebratory bubbles from all reports! Matt Curtain went on to win the race for the second year in a row in a time of 8:24, Brooke Logan to take the women’s title for a second year in a row with a time of 9:31.
Stadium Stomps – were electric! with SCA presence at all. The MCG Stadium Stomp had a sell-out attendance of 5000 climbers! Evidence in a single event that our sport is growing!
Thanks to those who contributed race reports for the website, they have been fantastic.
From Eiffel Tower Paris, Lotte World Tower in Seoul, Landmark 81 in Ho Chi Minh Vietnam, Milan, Moscow... the flag continues to travel and we are very jealous! Our members have also raced in Malaysia (KL tower), Willis Tower in Chicago and the Empire State Building Run Up.
The world is your oyster in Stair Climbing. If you ever wanted to race on “the world’s stage” this sport is your chance. We can highly recommend seeking out a race while traveling, or having a bucket list race you work towards. You will be well connected using this organisation so keep in touch with us if you plan to go!
A massive thanks to Jason for creating and maintaining the website. This began with securing the URL, to designing the site, maintaining it, updating the national rankings, and maintaining the GeoMap. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the GeoMap and continually shares their knowledge of places to train. If you wish to contribute please speak to the committees as to how to add your sites. The GeoMap is a fabulous resource for newcomers to get started with us.
Media and Marketing
Our first year has been really exciting in this space and we certainly hope for more.
The undoubtable highlight was the Sunrise Weather Cross from Sydney with Sam Mac and we thank Maria and Pyrmont Crew lead by Karen, for creating such a warm and inclusive atmosphere on the day.
There have been a number of other public SCA mentions (and I am sure I will miss some):
Suzy Walsham mentioned SCA on her TV appearance on Channel 9s Today Show.
Maria Piemontese wrote a fantastic blog on medaldisplays.com.au.
I wrote an article for Total Motion Tower runners UK, and also mentioned SCA on the hidden athlete podcast.
As always, we hope that exposure leads to more members, who then bring in more connections and opportunities for grants and sponsorship. Please continue to spread the word!
We are enriched and validated by our sponsors and are extremely grateful.
Thank you to the Race Directors: Active8 Change or Stair Challenge Australia, the MSWA Arena Ascent, Eureka Climb and Stadium Stomp who have offered discounts or bonus entries, and offered space for presence at events and in-event promotion opportunities for us. Some race directors go above and beyond to strengthen our connections, and special note to Steve Corrie who has been such a great supporter of us in our first year.
Thank you to Mantra/ Accor Hotels, and Student One who have offered accommodation and discounts.
Thank you to Edge Electrolytes and Bogong equipment who offer discounts to SCA members.
Keep an eye on newsletters and on the website as this is an ever-changing space.
To 2020 and beyond
Looking ahead we have much to look forward to.
Next races on the SCA Calendar are Wollongong Central Stair Climb and MSWA Arena Ascent. The Eureka Tower Climb in November looms as the National Championships and will add the most points to the final year rankings. SCA will work with the event organisers to help organise the elite start list and awards ceremony. There will be promotional opportunities around Eureka Tower and we will look to have a presence at both the race launch event and the race day itself. Eureka always makes the Melbourne TV so let’s try and get some singlets and a few words on there!
Into March 2020 we look forward to Q1 on the Gold Coast and further Everesting attempts from our base camp.
The race schedule for 2020 will take a similar looking stairwell, and we all look forward to these as small or large personal goals along the way. There are rumblings of a few new events from Building Managers who have seen successful events elsewhere, and SCA are prepared to support this and offer our expertise.
We love that events look to us to suggest ideas and race formats that will appeal to our members and their preferences and goals. This includes not only the elite speed events but also the Everest Team Challenges and opportunity for multiple climbs, as well as the ever increasing in popularity Unlimited Climb attempt events. Please ensure you have trained for the “down” if you wish to do this on a stadium stomp!
SCA has a major objective to run our own event, in time trial or match racing format when we can secure a venue. We welcome contributions and ideas from members around this, and it WILL happen.
We also want to see more informal “meet ups” where members can invite others to train. These are always successful, despite large or small turnouts. It is always better to train with someone else, firstly the commitment of meeting someone to just GET you to training, and secondly that they push you to train faster and harder than you would alone (and do more reps!). Any length of staircase works for a meet-up, and while there is nothing better than a big building with a good staircase and a lift down, shorter or outdoor ones still work as they can keep the group together.
Once again thanks to everyone who has contributed to this incredible sport. Looking forward to another fabulous year of stairs in 2020!
Dr Alice McNamara
President - Stair Climbing Australia