A HAMPSHIRE paraclimber is looking to raise funds to help him compete on the international stage.

Matthew Styles-West, 54, from Alton, has been climbing for 40 years and competing for 10. 

However, like many athletes, he struggles to get sponsorships so has to rely on donations to keep his career going and compete in the World Series.

Matthew said: “I am a ParaClimber in the mens AU3 category (missing three or more fingers on one or both hands). There are a number of categories for the disabled ranging for B1, 2 and 3 for the blind, AL1 and 2 for those paralysed from the waist down or missing one or both legs from the knee. AU2 and 3 for those missing an arm from the elbow or fingers. RP1, 2 and 3 for those suffering from range and power loss of varying degrees. 

“I compete both internationally as well as nationally for GB Climbing which is the competition side of the British Mountaineering Council (BMC). There are approximately 25 para climbers on the team all with varying disability. We compete in the World Cup series starting in May in Salt Lake City, Utah, then moving on to Innsbruck, France and finishing in Villars in Switzerland for the European Cup. I like the rest of the athletes on the team struggle to get any form of sponsorship and we are all totally self funded, this is quite costly as you can imagine around £5,000 to £6,000 a year. Any sponsorship we do get relies on us getting a good social media following so my Instagram is matt_westy_styleswest. 

“I do train five to six days a week and can often be found at Parthian Climbing in Southampton, Bouldershack or in London at Parthian Climbing London. I have been climbing for nearly 40 years and competing for 10.”

Mathew's fundraising page can be found by visiting gofund.me/7a469e22.