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Posted at: Mar 28, 2018, 12:56 AM; last updated: Mar 28, 2018, 12:56 AM (IST)

Climbing meet: Passion triumphs over disability

Climbing meet: Passion triumphs over disability
A visually impaired climber in action during the 1st National Sport Climbing Championship in Jammu. Inderjeet Singh

Vikas Sharma

Tribune News Service

Jammu, March 27

For visually impaired climber Sande-eshwarappa from Bengaluru and many others hailing from different states across the country, physical disability has never been an obstacle. Their undying passion for the sport is always motivating them to prove their mettle and emerge victorious.

The atmosphere at the Sprawling Buds School, the venue for the first-ever national sport climbing championship for visually impaired, was electrifying where 60 odd climbers hailing from different parts of the country were seen practising before the competition along with their coaches. The two-day sporting event is being organised by the Mountaineering Association of J&K.

Talking to The Tribune, the talented climbers shared their experiences. “Participation in the inaugural edition of the championship for visually impaired is a very special moment for all the climbers,” Sande-eshwarappa said.

“Not for a single moment I allow my blindness to come in my way in achieving excellence in the sport. It is a golden opportunity for climbers like me to get the much-needed exposure. Before that, we used to practice climbing at local venues,” he said.

Another visually impaired climber Lokesh described the visit to the city of temples as an unforgettable one. “I always wanted to visit Jammu and when I got information about the hosting of the event here, I was very excited,” Lokesh added.

Two girl participants from Jammu, namely Netha Tickoo and Bhumika Chib, described their participation as a dream come true. “For the last two years, we have been associated with the game and participated in state and national-level competitions as well,” Netha and Bhumika said.

“Like normal climbers, we can also climb a wall. May be the time taken is a bit more but the loss of sight has not dampened our spirit to perform at higher levels,” the climbers from Jammu said.

S Bhattacharjee, Chairman, Indian Mountaineering Foundation, North Zone and Ram Khajuria, general secretary of the association, expressed satisfaction over the conduct of the event. “There is a decrease in the strength of participants in the championship but nevertheless, J&K will be remembered for hosting the inaugural edition of the championship,” they said.

Earlier, former MLA Ashwani Sharma declared open the championship. in all, 70 to 80 visually impaired climbers from six states are vying for top honours in the meet.

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