| The artificial wall at JRD Tata Sports Complex, the venue for the event. Picture by Bhola Prasad
The wait was long, but the return was worth every year the city waited for.
Sport climbing will be back in Jamshedpur after a four-year hiatus with the city ready to host the East Zone Sport Climbing competition.
The three-day event, which will be organised by the Tata Steel Adventure Foundation (TSAF) under the banner of Indian Mountaineering Foundations East Zone Committee, will kick off on October 12.
The event will draw participants from Bengal, Odisha and Bihar, besides home state Jharkhand and a team from Darjeeling. It will be feature contestants in the U-16 and above 16 (boys and girls) age groups scaling for top honours at JRD Tata Sports Complex.
Sport climbing is a form of outdoor climbing. Unlike in traditional rock climbing, participants take the help of permanent anchors such as bolts that are already attached to the rock to climb to the top.
We hope the zonal event sparks interest among youngsters in the city. The event is back in the city after four years and we are looking forward to conducting it in an efficient way, said P.P. Kapadia, secretary of TSAF.
He added that a 50ft artificial wall that had been lying unused for years would be put to use for the competition.
We had last month held a three-day camp at JRD Tata Sports Complex in which close to 52 youths participated. Based on their performance, we will now shortlist 15-20 boys and girls in the U-16 and above 16 age groups for the competition, Kapadia said.
Three Calcutta-based experts from Indian Mountaineering Foundations east zone committee had trained the youths during last months camp. A co-ordinator from the institute was also present during the three day camp, which also saw Everetser Binita Soren imparting tips.
TSAF had also organised a camp last year for youths from Patamda who had shown interest in rock climbing.
The camp was generated interest among rural youths. However, it is sad to find that we do not have many takers for the sport in Jamshedpur, Kapadia rued.
TSAF is also looking at the Jamshedpur Old Girls and Guys Association (Jogga) to spark interest in the discipline of sport climbing among the city youngsters.
Jogga is actively involved in conducting inter-school events and TSAF officials are determined in introducing sport climbing as one such event.
We will talk to Jogga functionaries in this regard. We have the infrastructure in place. All we need is a little push for the sport to grow, Kapadia signed off.