In a momentous triumph, Jo Hedger has etched her name in the annals of climbing history by clinching an unprecedented sixth World Tree Climbing Championship title in Albuquerque, USA. This remarkable feat solidifies her status as a trailblazer, as she becomes the first woman to claim six world championships and the inaugural individual to secure three consecutive world titles spanning 2019, 2022, and 2023.
Representing the UK & Ireland with resolute determination at the esteemed 2023 International Tree Climbing Championships held on Sunday, August 13th, Jo demonstrated her prowess by emerging victorious in the Masters’ Challenge category. She masterfully outshone formidable contenders hailing from the United States and Australia.
Jo’s remarkable achievements are accentuated by her enduring commitment to the sport and her fervent dedication to disseminating her insights and techniques, further cementing her status as an exemplary ambassador for the global tree care community. Her journey is all the more impressive due to her enduring legacy in the realm of climbing.
Ever since her inaugural world title victory in St. Louis back in 2008, Jo has volunteered her valuable time to organise climbing events and facilitate the exchange of techniques and innovations among arborists. Simultaneously, she helms Arbor Venture Tree Care, an Arboricultural Association Approved Contractor, reaffirming her commitment to arboriculture.
Reflecting on her journey, Jo remarked, “These events have been an immense learning experience for me. A significant portion of the equipment and techniques commonly employed today have evolved from the innovative spirit fostered by tree climbers during these competitions.”
Notably, Jo’s motivation stems less from pursuing accolades and more from her relentless thirst for knowledge. She humbly added, “Participating in these events provides a remarkable avenue to learn from peers and share methodologies. While victories are gratifying, the ultimate triumph lies in the exchange of knowledge.”
Alongside Jo, the Arboricultural Association’s climbing team representing the UK & Ireland included Michael Curwen and Sarah Ann Quinlan.
Commending the entire climbing team’s commendable efforts in New Mexico, John Parker, the CEO of the Arboricultural Association, expressed pride and conveyed special congratulations to Jo Hedger for her extraordinary achievement in securing a sixth world title. He expressed hopes that Jo’s resounding success would kindle greater enthusiasm for this exhilarating sport and for arboriculture as a whole.
The upcoming UK & Ireland Tree Climbing Competition is scheduled to take place on September 9th and 10th at Warwick University, forming a pivotal component of the Arboricultural Association’s Annual Conference. In this event, Jo Hedger will engage in spirited competition against 50 fellow arborists as she aspires to secure her 13th consecutive UK Championship, thereby continuing her legacy of excellence.