The Arc’teryx Ambassador Team today welcomes its newest addition: Campbell Harrison
Hailing from Melbourne, the 24 year old professional rock climber has been standing atop podiums for a decade and is currently ranked the #2 in Australia. As the favorite coming into the 2020 Olympic team selection, we look forward to supporting his journey to Paris in 2024 and multiple appearances on the World Cup circuit this year.
When not on the world stage, Campbell’s a commentator, writer, climbing coach and diversity advocate with fellow Arc’teryx Ambassadors ClimbingQTs, based out of his home gym, Urban Climb in Melbourne.
ARC’TERYX: Tell us a bit about yourself. How did you get into climbing?
CAMPBELL: “8 year old me thought it would be a cool after-school activity to try out, and I pretty quickly fell in love with it. It was a slow burn at first, but gradually I climbed more and more until I was climbing almost everyday! I really found my niche in climbing once I started competing."
How did you make the leap into professional climbing? Any advice for those looking to get on to the World Cup circuit?
"I first made the National Team back in 2012 when I was 14. The World Youth Championship that year in Singapore was my first foray into international climbing competitions, and I was hit pretty hard by the reality of how hard other kids my age could climb. Every year I learn more and more about how to be an elite level athlete, and whilst I still think I have a lot to learn and a long way to go, it's been a pretty profound journey so far.
If I had any advice for aspiring World Cup climbers it would be to become comfortable putting yourself into situations where you might be compared to others. The World Cup circuit can feel like a tight community when you're in it. You're gonna be surrounded by people who are able to climb harder than you, and above all else you need to be able to maintain your belief in yourself and learn from these experiences."
Having been a climber for over half your life, has your relationship with the sport changed?
"I think when I was younger I didn't really allow myself to have fun with it as much as I should have. There were kids in my youth category who used to tell me I was 'allergic to fun' because I was always so serious 😅 But I think as I'm growing older, I'm getting better at taking a lower pressure approach to training at my limit, if that makes sense? I'm capable of meeting myself where I'm at each day, rather than feeling disappointed that my body can't be at a peak 100% of the time. But that said, I'm still learning."
Being a coach and diversity advocate, what drives you to give back to the community?
"When I was younger, I'd always hoped that within climbing I would find this beacon of diversity. As I got older, climbing couldn't have felt further than that most of the time. In the last few years, the climbing scene has changed dramatically, and it's fast becoming a space that everyone can enjoy. I hope to be able to do what I can to facilitate this growth so that people like my young self can find a sport that is warm and welcoming to you now matter how you identify."
What can we do to make climbing more diverse and welcoming to everyone?
"I think that work that's being done by groups like ClimbingQTs in being explicitly welcoming of marginalised groups is super important. We could all certainly be doing more to be kind and respectful to those around us, as well as being aware of how the way we speak and behave might impact others. There are lots of small changes you can make that go a long way, and being open to learning and growth is the first step."
Where can people find you, on and offline?
"Online, you can find me on Instagram at @campbell_harrison547 or on Facebook or Tiktok at @campbellharrison 😊 Offline, I'll often be either behind the counter or on the walls at Urban Climb Collingwood!"