BENGALURU: In order to popularise climbing for sport, a national level sport climbing competition will be held in the city at the end of the month. The organisers are hopeful that the activity, which is gaining a lot of interest worldwide, would also capture the imagination of prospective climbers in the city.
The Indian Mountaineering Foundation South Zone and General Thimmaya National Academy of Adventure will be organizing the 27th National Sport Climbing Competition which is scheduled to be held between the 27th and 30th January 2019 at the department of youth services in the city.
Sport climbing is rapidly becoming popular all over the world with multiple world cups being held every year under the IFSC (International Federation of Sport Climbing) umbrella. The crowds attending these events are also increasing and the sport has also been recognised and included in the 2020 Olympics that will be held in Japan. This is the first edition of the tournament where sports climbing will be included.
Explaining the competition that will take place in Bengaluru, an official said, “The selections have taken places in five zones: North, South, East, West and North East. There are 120 contestants including senior men from the Army and Police department. The competition will be held in three genres. The first one is lead climbing, where the wall is about 60 feet high and the competitors have to reach the highest point within five minutes.”
“The second genre is speed climbing, where the climbers will have a universal route with the same inclination and height and will have to reach the top as fast as they can. The third genre is the Bold Ring, where a 14 feet wall has to be scaled without any safety ropes within five minutes. A crash pad will be placed at the bottom,” explained Abhishek Sheth, part of the organising team.
The participants in this event are national level champions who hold country records in climbing. Bharat Pereira, a competitor, has broken the national speed record twice.
“Climbing is not so popular and I would love to make it recognised as an important sport,” Pereira told City Express. He has been practising this sport for the past 14 years. His current record is six international medals.
The aim of the competition is to make the climbing sport popular in India.“With climbing gyms now open in almost every major city and climbing walls being built in schools and colleges, people are gravitating to the sport quite naturally because of its unique traits,” Sheth said.