British climber Fran Brown has won the female physical disability class at the 2012 World Para Climbing Championships in Paris.
Twenty seven year old Fran grew up in Cornwall where she developed a passion for rock climbing. She later moved to Cardiff for University, before starting work as a theatre lighting technician in London's west end.
Five years ago she was involved in an industrial accident. This resulted in a spinal injury in her neck which affects the use of her arms and legs. She now competes in para climbing competitions as an incomplete tetraplegic.
Following the accident, she initially returned her work as a theatre lighting technician but eventually found this too physically demanding and inflexible and now works as a lighting designer, professional percussionist, aerialist and circus performer.
Fran, who is also the British Para Climbing Champion, remains passionate about outdoor climbing, and these days specialises in sport climbing and bouldering. But it doesn't stop there. As well as competing in Para Climbing competitions, she is also a developing athlete with the British Disabled Ski Team, plays wheelchair rugby and loves to swim.
At the recent Climbing World Championships and Para Climbing World Championships in Paris, Fran, who is sponsored by the Arch Climbing Wall and BigStone Ltd, was one of twelve GB climbers competing. Nine in the World Championships, and three in the Para-climbing Championships. She welcomes this integrated approach and believes that it makes the sport inclusive rather than divided, and cements the status of para climbers as full time world class athletes alongside their able bodied counterparts.
"The World championships were a great competition with some really challenging routes" said Fran, "The integration of the Para Climbing event with the main world championships added to the atmosphere and the support was amazing."
The worlds were also a key event in the bid by the International Federation of Sport Climbing for Olympic inclusion in 2020, and several IOC delegates attended to witness the high standard of competition at first hand.
When asked what's next, now the Worlds are over, Fran tweeted "A little rest time, get my wrist fixed and then nail some outdoor projects before winter indoor training starts."