LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) — An 11-year-old Arkansas girl is making a name for herself in the world of indoor climbing.
Kaydence Richardson joined Team Arkansas at Little Rock Climbing Center two and a half years ago. Next week, she will compete in bouldering at the national level.
"It's unique," Kaydence said. "It's a fun sport and all the people who come here are really nice."
Her first year, Kaydence competed on the gym's junior varsity team.
"I couldn't get half way up the wall," she said. "I asked if I could come down. I remember it very well, because I had tears in my eyes."
But after lots of hard work, Kaydence made varsity the following year. Now, she's preparing for the USA Climbing Bouldering Youth Nationals in Salt Lake City, Utah. At age 11, she's the youngest member of Team Arkansas to ever advance to nationals.
"To be able to help Kaydence go from where she was at, where she had some climbing experience, and give her more self confidence and be able to train and trust herself more —- she's really breaking through a lot of barriers," her coach Daniel Carnahan said.
Her training has increased to every other day as she prepares for the competition Feb. 9-11.
"It teaches you that you can do things that you think you couldn't before," Kaydence said. "Like I could barely go up the wall earlier. You can do better than you might think you could before.
The Richardson family is raising money for Kaydence's trip to Salt Lake City. If you'd like to help, click here to visit her GoFundMe page.