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Source: University of Otago

Phoebe Kenderdine will be representing New Zealand at the FISU World University Championship Sport Climbing later this year.
Climbing her way around the world is Ecology and Anthropology student Phoebe Kenderdine. The Art and Science student will be representing New Zealand at the FISU World University Championship Sport Climbing later this year.
“Students were selected from a pool of eligible athletes based off past competition experience and achievements. There are four of us on the team from across Dunedin, Canterbury and Auckland. Climbing is a pretty close community and if you’ve done a lot of competing you kind of know everyone – so I know my team mates already. The championships are in June in Austria. I’m excited to go to Austria.”
Phoebe grew up spending time in Dunedin and Wellington and discovered her love for climbing while living in the Capital.
“I grew up climbing trees and I would often go to birthday parties at climbing gyms and think they were so cool. I was surprised when not everyone else thought climbing gyms were so cool,” Phoebe laughs.
“Then I found out it was an actual sport you could do so I joined a club in Wellington. You find people who get excited about indoor or outdoor but in general a lot of people do both, I like to do both. I’ve only outdoor climbed in New Zealand so far but my favourite place to climb here is probably Wanaka.”
Having had a taste of competition and gearing up for travel, Phoebe is anticipating an adventurous future.
“I’m planning to continue my travels after the championships. I spent a while at the start of this year working on getting my studies online so I can travel and train in new places. I want to spend time in Europe and do some of the international world cups that take place later in the year. Climbing is a good way of getting out and seeing the world.”
When picking up a new sport, climbing isn’t necessarily the first one people may think of, but Phoebe says it’s worth trying.
“I would definitely encourage others to take this up. When I first moved back to Dunedin a new climbing gym opened up, it’s called Resistance Climbing. It’s at least worth trying once. A lot of people have never heard of it or triedit. It’s a relatively young sport in New Zealand so people don’t think of it, I say just try it.”