Sunday, May 17, 2015

Bouldering finds a toehold in Sikkim

State successfully hosts the 1st All India Open Artificial Bouldering Competition


Sikkim successfully hosted its first national level Artificial Bouldering Competition on 13 and 14 May. The 1st All India Open Artificial Bouldering Competition, Sikkim 2015 was inaugurated by the Governor, Shriniwas Patil on 13 May at Fish Pond opposite to Paljor Stadium. The two-day competition was organised jointly by Sikkim Amateur Mountaineering Association [SAMA] and Sikkim Tourism Development Corporation [STDC].
The competition featured 64 climbers from different parts of the country, including a few international climbers. Significantly, the competition attracted the participation of 31 local climbers, most of whom were taking part in such a competition for the first time.
Some of the local climbers had signed up without any formal training and were seeing a climbing wall for the first time.
“I find this sport very interesting and if we get proper training we can do well in it”, said first-timer Nim Tshering Lepcha of Dzongu.
By contrast, 18-year-old international climber from Mumbai, Siddhi Manerikar, had started artificial rock climbing when she was 14 years old. She started artificial bouldering at her school in Goregaon and went on to participate in competitions. She won her first international medal in 2010 and now her target is to win a medal for the country in the Asian Games.
“Sikkim can also do well in this adventure sport. All you need is awareness and promotion of the sport,” Ms Manerikar believes. She added that Mumbai has already produced a few international climbers despite having been introduced to bouldering only in the recent years and that Sikkim also has a lot of potential to produce international climbers.
24-year-old Ajij Shaikh from Pune represented the country in the World Championship in Paris in 2012 and then in the Asian Championship in Iran 2013. He learnt artificial rock-climbing at school and is now working as a trainer in Hyderabad.
“Sikkim has a craze for sports and with proper promotion, can produce great climbers in the near future,” Mr Shaikh said.
IMF North East Zone Climbing Committee, Vice-Chairman, Dr K Romeo Metei informed that there are three events in climbing - lead climbing, speed climbing and bouldering.
“There is a lot of potential and career opportunities for youngsters in this sport. Proper infrastructure, awareness and support are needed,” he adds.
“If Manipur can do well in this sport, so can Sikkim,” Dr Metei expressed further, adding that the sport is growing in the country and is becoming more competitive. Earlier bouldering was dominated by the North East Region but now South and West zones are also doing well, he states.
Dr Metei further shared that Sikkim needs climbing walls, qualified judges and route setters for the promotion of this sport.
On the successful completion of the competition, SAMA president, Everester Kunzang Gyatso Bhutia thanked everyone for supporting the event. He also thanked the Governor for assuring support for the promotion and development of this adventure sport in the State.
“Local climbers have performed well in their debut participation. They have the strength and just need proper guidance and a practice wall to take them further,” he said. To promote the sport, he mentioned that SAMA will organise this competition every year in the State and will also send local climbers outside for training and competitions.
SAMA advisor, Satish Bardewa said that SAMA was formed by young mountaineers of Sikkim in 1982 with the main objective of inculcating a sense of adventure in young students and youths. SAMA has been providing training to youngsters in different adventure related activities and has also been participating in different relief and rescue operations, he added. He also listed out other activities of SAMA.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Readers are invited to comment on, criticise, run down, even appreciate if they like something in this blog. Comments carrying abusive/ indecorous language and personal attacks, except when against the people working on this blog, will be deleted. It will be exciting for all to enjoy some earnest debates on this blog...