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Country’s maiden Climbing World Cup takes to crowd-funding

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Mid-last year, India’s nascent climbing sport segment scored big by winning the bid to host the International Federation of Sports Climbing (IFSC) World Cup for bouldering in the satellite city of Navi Mumbai in May 2016.

But the encouraging move has not yet translated into getting state administration as well as the large corporates to open their purse-strings, forcing the organisers to seek crowd-funding to meet the huge expenses which will run to crores of rupees.

Only government-run Cidco has agreed to offer its exhibition centre at Vashi for the event to be held for the first time ever.

For the over 50-year-old Girivihar Adventure Club, the organisers for the meet hosted by Indian Mountaineering Federation, this was a big leap.

“India is only the fourth Asian country to have bagged a Climbing World Cup and it’s a huge honour. It is heartening to note that Indians are slowly opening up to newer sports and sometimes it is events like this that can exponentially increase their interests,” Abhijit Burman of Girivihar told PTI over the weekend.

Burman cites how for cricket, the win by Kapil Dev’s team in 1983, followed by co-hosting the World Cup in 1987, worked wonderfully well.

Specially-made walls will be erected at an indoor facility on which the climbers will be competing for the top honours this May.

The International Federation of Sports Climbing has 83 member-countries and there are eight such IFSC world cups being held across the world every year.

But for the three-day extravaganza arranging finances in India has become a formidable challenge for the organisers.

The Maharashtra government-run City Industrial Development Corporation (Cidco) was the first to come forth and provide the fully air-conditioned, state-of-the-art Cidco Exhibition Center at Vashi as the venue for the event.

Corporate sponsors are coming forth but are shying away from large sponsorship amounts, the organisers rue.

PTI

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