6 Tata foundation climbers in national squad for world youth meet
As many as six climbers from the Tata Steel Adventure Foundation (TSAF) have found berths in the seven-member national sport climbing squad for the World Youth Championship scheduled in Voronezh, Russia from August 21 to 31.
The climbers from the premier Jamshedpur-based adventure outfit are Anisha Verma, Aman Verma, Suraj Singh Sardar, Vidula Abhale, Ronit Banra and J Purty. Manuji of New Delhi is the other member in the Russia-bound side.
Hemant Gupta, head of TSAF, and Bibhas Roy, route setter at the sport climbing cradle at JRD Tata Sports Complex, will accompany the team as manager and coach, respectively. The team will leave Jamshedpur on August 17 before flying to Russia the following day.
The squad was selected on the basis of performance of climbers at the national qualifying trials organised by TSAF) in association with Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF) East at JRD Tata Sports Complex in Jamshedpur last month.
A total of 24 aspirants (boys and girls), including 9 from TSAF, from across the country participated at the trials .
Anisha Verma is the current national record holder in speed climbing in the girl's category while her brother Aman Verma is the first climber from India to reach the semi-final stage of World Youth Championship a couple of years back. TSAF cadets have won 20 medals at national level while more than 50 at zonal and state level.
TSAF has invested heavily, to the tune of crores, to develop infrastructure and training center for sport climbing in Jamshedpur. Besides JRD Tata Sports Complex, it has also installed 5 modular climbing walls at rural schools around the steel city to increase the reach and awareness of the sport.
The country’s first residential academy for sport climbing was set up in Jamshedpur last month. TSAF is training climbers with the Olympic Games in mind. Sport climbing made its maiden entry in the recently concluded Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.