Gangtok, Aug 21
Sikkim is all set to host a national level climbing sports for the first time in the entire north-eastern region in September. The fourth edition of All India Indian Mountaineering Foundation [IMF] Sport Climbing Competition will be held from 6 to 8 September at Indian Himalayan Centre for Adventure & Ecotourism [IHCEA] at Chemchey in South Sikkim under the aegis of Indian Mountaineering Foundation, New Delhi. The competition will have the experienced climbers from all seven IMF zones spread all across the country.
Addressing a press conference here today, IHCAE Director, Col DN Bhutia mentioned that this was the first ever sport climbing event has been awarded to the North Eastern States and it was proud moment that Sikkim was hosting the event. He mentioned that the competition will also have national and international climbers of the country representing their respective zones. He mentioned that the competition will have around 230 climbers from across the country.
The participating zones are Eastern Zone, Western Zone, Northern Zone, Southern Zone, North-Eastern Zone, Services Zone and Special Police Forces Zone. Sikkim falls under North-Eastern Zone.
The competition will be conducted by IMF officials and technical experts. The competition will be held in two disciplines of sport climbing- Speed and Lead. The competition will be held in three categories of Sub-Junior [boys & girls] of age group 10 to 14 years, Junior [boys 7 girls] of age group 15 to 17 years and Senior [Men & Women] of age group 18 years and above.
Col Bhutia mentioned that sport climbing competition was a new phenomenon in the Indian sub-continent just about 8 to 10 years old but it has become one of the most preferred adventure sports for young generation. He added that this sporting engulfs in it all the techniques and essentials of mountaineering, climbing encompassing all types of weather and terrains.
“Since this sport is new to all of us and very few know the types, techniques and importance, so we have requested the higher authorities to allot this competition to us in Sikkim so that youths from Sikkim and from North East as well could be benefitted,” he said. Col Bhutia added that the main objective to host the event in Sikkim was to promote this sport in the State and to encourage local youths in this area.
“We should be proud to host this prestigious Sport Climbing Competition at Chemchey as this event will put Sikkim in the Sports and Mountaineering map of the country and the people will start identify IHCAE as an important sporting destination,” he expressed. He informed that the sport wall available at Chemchey was one of its kind constructed as per IMF standard and strictly as per International Federation of Sport Committee guidelines. The second such sport wall is available only at Pune, Maharashtra.
Col Bhutia requested all sport and adventure lovers to come and witness the prestigious sport climbing event in the State. He stated that young aspirants and mountaineers of Sikkim have a golden opportunity to take the full advantage of facilities available with IHCAE Chemchey including training in various fields of mountaineering.
Responding to media queries, he informed that interested climbers from Sikkim can immediately contact IHCAE Director to participate in the competition.