Archive - Wednesday, 13 June 2012
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Blackwood girl, six is rock-climbing prodigy
AT THE age of six, you would expect to find Nia Haines, from Blackwood, on the swings or playing with her friends.
Nia Haines climbing, while mum, Sue, looks on
But the little girl is more likely to be found climbing up to 40-feet-high taking on everything from cliffs to quarries.
Nia caught the climbing bug from her rock climbing mum Sue and is used to scaling heights ten times her own height.
Mum Sue, 39, started climbing three years ago to overcome her fear of heights and took Nia and older daughter Megan, nine, with her.
She said: "I have an awful fear of heights which is why I started rock-climbing in the first place and I only feel safe when I know I'm strapped to a harness.
"Then I went to climbing outdoors and took the girls with me and Nia just loved it."
The six-year-old started climbing around three years ago and started with indoor walls.
Now she has her own kit including shoes, harness and a helmet.
Nia's mum said: "She would take on anything and has no fear - the higher the better.
"She likes the idea she's higher than everyone else and she'll turn around when she's higher than us and say, 'I'm bigger than you.
"And it's not just walls, if there's a tree nearby she would be up it, or climbing frames in the playground."
Sue and her partner, Stuart Jamieson, take the girls away for the weekends rock-climbing either in the Peak District or to quarries and rock faces in and around Wales.
Sue said: "She's quite sporty anyway and like gymnastics and ballet, but none of her friends go rock-climbing.
"She's happy doing it and that's the main thing."
The family said Nia will be able to start climbing lessons when she turns seven.
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