The Telegraph
Wednesday , September 5 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Sport climbing on steel city radar

Sport climbing may be back in the city of ace climbers after a four-year hiatus.

The Indian Mountaineering Foundation’s East Zone Sport Climbing Committee has approached Tata Steel Adventure Foundation (TSAF) to host the zonal competition later this year.

With sport climbing yet to climb the popularity charts in the steel city, the zonal competition may well be the catalyst that sparks off interest in the game.

“The sport climbing committee has approached us to host the zonal event. We have not given any commitment yet since TSAF chief Bachendri Pal is not in town. She’s gone for an expedition in Leh-Ladakh,” said foundation secretary P.P. Kapadia.

He added that TSAF would have to talk with Pal before giving any assent. “But we would certainly like to host the zonal event, as such a competition was organised here in 2008,” Kapadia said.

The foundation is keen to make the most of the almost abandoned artificial wall at the JRD Tata Sports Complex after failing to attract youths towards sport climbing, despite staging zonal competition in the city, which is home to the biggest names in mountaineering.

It is looking at Jamshedpur Old Girls’ and Guys’ Association (Jogga) to spark interest in sport climbing among youngsters.

The foundation has made sincere efforts earlier. From setting up a sport climbing centre to organising east zone competitions to generate interest. The unique form of rock climbing is distinguished by permanent anchors fixed to the surface.

“We failed to make any headway even though we have worked hard to lure youths, including some from rural areas of the district, to take part in sport climbing. But our efforts have come a cropper. The zonal competition might be helpful in reviving the sport,” Kapadia added.

The sport climbing centre, set up in 2006, sheds light on its practical and theoretical aspects. But lack of interest among sports buffs has negated the aim of the centre so far.