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  • 103 participants from 22 states participates in competition

SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Department in collaboration with Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF) today organized 1st All India Sport Lead Climbing Competition here at Climbing Wall in Nowgam. A two-day event witnesses the participation of 103 climbers from 22 states of India which are participating in various categories including sub-junior, junior, men and women categories. The competition will be adjudged by the group of professional from various parts of India.

Secretary Tourism Rigzian Sampheal who was the Chief Guest, inaugurated the event. President IMF, Col HS Chauhan, Deputy Commissioner Srinagar, Dr Syed Abid Rasheed Shah, Director Tourism Kashmir Mahmood Ahmad Shah and other concerned officials were present on the occasion. Giving details about the event, President IMF Col Chauhan said that climbing sport is now an Olympic game, which will be introduced in 2020 Olympics to be held in Tokyo. He said three events in Speed, Bouldering and Lead are held in the championships. In Kashmir we are organizing Lead only while as Speed and Bouldering are organized at other destinations, he said adding there are seven zones of IMF.

All the seven zones of IMF including East zone featuring 12 climbers, West Zone with 28 climbers, North Zone with 39 climbers, South Zone with 4 climbers, North East Zone with 10 climbers and Services Zone with 6 climbers and Police Zone having 5 climbers are participating in the competitions. Judges, trainers, route tellers and other officials have been deputed on this task and to make the competitions a success.

 Speaking on the occasion, Secretary Tourism Rigzian Sampheal said that in the coming days, Tourism Department will sign the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with IMF so that some fruitful thing will come out of it. While thanking the participants for coming to Kashmir to participated in the competition, Sampheal asked them to share their experiences with their friends and fellows once the go back to their respective states.

Director Tourism Kashmir said the department has been training local boys and girls every year for sport climbing for such competitions. “We have trained local boys and girls who were imparted skills in sport climbing for past few years. The best among them were given fresh training for past three days who are participating in this championship,” he said.

He said this championship will go a long with in promoting sport climbing in the state and previous year the department trained over 300 youth and also organized inter-district championships. He said, “Local youth have shown good response who can make career in this sport. We will organise more such events and competitions in future as we have created facility and we want to utilize it to maximum.”

Speaking on the occasion, DC Srinagar assured full support for the promotion of this sport and said Kashmir is not what it is portrayed by some section of media. He asked the participants to be the ambassadors of Kashmir and convey to the outside world that Kashmir is peaceful and the people are Kashmir are kind and warm hearted.