Young climbers set to make waves

Tonina, Nico, mom Jessicca and Alex Sutterberg Rees-Jones.


National climbers and brothers Nico and Alex Sutterberg Rees-Jones, who caught the bug of climbing at an early age, have set their sights on future Olympics with the hope of bringing the gold home to Parkview.

Born triplets with sister Tonina, the bothers hold national titles and are determined to take their talent further.

Alex, who followed Nico at birth, is the reigning Bouldering champion. The youngster won the South Africa U13 Top Rope competition which was held last month at City Rock in Randburg.

“Winning was nice and fun and I wasn’t expecting to come first,” said Alex.

Nico and Alex Sutterberg Rees-Jones with mom Jessica Rees-Jones.

Nico and Alex Sutterberg Rees-Jones with mom Jessica Rees-Jones.

“In the competitions leading to the provincials, I didn’t do too well and I was quite surprised when I came first.”

The Ridge Primary schoolboy said his win was not an easy one but the intense training allowed him to be in top form. “We are used to City Rock because we are there training every weekend,” he said.

“During the competition, once I started climbing the first route, I remained in first place throughout the whole challenge.”

The odds were against Nico during the Bouldering competition, as he fell and broke his arm during the semifinals and had to step down.

However, the Grade7 youngster had his victorious moment earlier in the year when he was crowned first runner-up in another Bouldering competition which was held over a period of two days at City Rock in Cape Town.

“It wasn’t an easy win at all,” said the 13-year-old.

“The Western Cape guys were hard to climb against. They were familiar with the environment and that made them perform better.”

Their proud mom, Jessica Rees-Jones said both her sons were good at the sport and that their individual uniqueness allowed them to excel. “Nico has a natural ability and his physique allows him to always achieve good results,” said Rees-Jones.

“And Alex has a beautiful style; he’s determined and very mature.”

She added that she had no interest in the sport prior to her sons’ involvement but had fallen in love with it and now spends most weekends at their training grounds. “What I’ve learnt about the sport is that it is physical, mental and emotional. I have just seen the boys develop and grow through the sport.”

Lethu Nxumalo

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