Surprised by your tough side, your faith and confidence are reenergized. The best part is it can be everybody’s pursuit and not just worth an athlete’s salt. Besides the fitness edge, climbing sessions at school level, structure you foundationally as a ‘responsible’ risk taker and decision maker. You get the sorted philosophy of life that scaling up a wall is a better and efficient way of overcoming it rather than hitting it with your head. Ironically though, the present Indian education system relies exclusively on books as the life trainer. Despite Indian Mountaineering Foundation’s (IMF) sincere attempts at encouraging the sport, the concept is not yet able to proliferate well. Inducting climbing workshops as a part of curriculum, schools will practically contribute to the individual value addition. Parents and students too need to infuse concerted efforts in undertaking climbing and recommending it to the academic authorities. Here are some quick facts propelling the need for climbing walls and workshops at schools:
1. What is climbing walls sport? How safe is it?
A climbing wall is an artificial structure equipped with surface grips for both hands and feet. They are laid in specific as well as random order. It’s a good starting and training point facilitating the feel of real rock faces with hand and foot holds. You can chart your own routes to raise the difficulty level. To avert any serious injury to the climber, either a belay mechanism (with a harness & rope) or a crash mat is used. Technically sound and ‘safe,’ artificial walls facilitate flexi-timing, all weather (if indoor) training. You need to have a proper climbing gear, which includes crash mat or a climbing harness, tight-fitting shoes, and a belay device. Artificial wall climbing is also known as sports climbing.
2. Training in Climbing Walls
Climbing walls require technical guidance. Do not undertake it without that. Several dedicated training schools in India offer climbing workshops for the beginners. With IMF headquartered in Delhi, the opportunities in this region are greener. To add to the convenience, operators like Bikat Adventures conduct climbing workshops in schools to help acquaint the kids with the concept, tools, preparation, gear, and train them on the safety techniques. Teachers and school staff is welcome to join in as well. The experts offer a safe and controlled environment to help the learners ‘enjoy’ climbing walls. The activity is conducted under the guidance of professional climbers. As indicated above, more schools, students, and parents need to adopt it.
3. Climbing Walls Events & Competitions
With the information-exchange surge through the internet, wall climbing is gradually gaining ground across the globe, including India. Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF) provides a sound base for this sport and promotes it. Its Delhi facility has a 4-faced world-class wall for the climbers. Each face can support two climbers at a time, which spans to eight climbers at one go. To encourage people to actively take up climbing, the foundation organizes various zonal and national level championships every year. The winners are awarded scholarships. Many participants in these competitions have represented India at the international platform. Some such names are Kumar Gaurav, Tuhin Satarkar, Surjit Singh, and Nimer Singh. Kumar Gaurav participated in two World Cups in 2013 and won laurels. Though he was not successful in winning the competition, but he was the first Indian to the reach the semi-finals in the World Cup held in China. Just recently, he went to Germany for his championship. Several brands sponsored him.
4. Success Prospects
If you are promising enough, esteemed brands like Petzel and Black Diamond are willing to sponsor the professional climbers from India. With the nation still warming to the idea, the arena is not crowded and intensely competitive. Therefore, jumping in presently offers bright chances and upswings.
Besides cricket and hockey, it’s time we start something different and empowering at a very early level like climbing walls and workshops at school. However, that cannot happen without everyone’s involvement. Wall climbing is a baby step to mountaineering, help the kids take it!