Jamshepdur, Aug 20: Tata Steel Adventure Foundation (TSAF) is sending six young athletes to represent Team India at the World Youth Championship to be held in Voronezh, Russia from August 21-31, 2021. This is the biggest representation of athletes from TSAF Sports Climbing Academy who will take part in the annual championship.
The 10-member Indian contingent, including three organisers, will compete in three different disciplines: Lead, Speed, and Bouldering across two age group categories – Youth A (16-18 years old) and Youth B (14-16 years old).
Tata Steel is financially supporting Team India and had also supported Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF) in conducting trials to select the team earlier in July 2021 by hosting all participating athletes and officials in Jamshedpur at TSAF Sport Climbing Training centre.
Indian Sport Climbing Team includes Youth A- Aman Verma, Manu Jee and Anisha Verma.
In Youth B- Joga Purty, Vidula Abhale, Suraj Singh and Ronit Bandra. Team Manager is Hemant Gupta, Team Coach -Bibhas Roy and IMF Representative will be Debraj Dutta.
Chanakya Chaudhary, Chairman, Tata Steel Adventure Foundation and Vice President, Corporate Services, Tata Steel, said: “This is a historic moment for Tata Steel and Tata Steel Adventure Foundation. We are delighted to see young girls and boys trained at TSAF represent India in such large numbers in an international event like the World Youth Championship being held in Russia this year. Tata Steel family wishes the Indian team and all participating athletes from around the world the very best.”
“TSAF, over the years, has evolved into an institution and is an integral part of Tata Steel’s long-term commitment to supporting sports in India. India’s first residential Sport Climbing Academy set up by TSAF in July 2021 will surely provide fillip to Sport Climbing in India. The foundation will continue to promote the cause of adventure sports and create an enabling ecosystem for the promising talent,” Chanakya Chaudhary added.
Team India was flagged off by ace Indian mountaineer and TSAF’s founder director Ms. Bachendri Pal who also shared her experiences of the challenges faced by sports persons and how to come out as winners. Ms. Pal had led the 1993 Indo-Nepalese Women’s Everest Expedition comprising 21 members and was the first International all-women expedition to successfully scale the summit of Mt. Everest in its very first attempt.
Hemant Gupta, Head, TSAF, said: “The World Youth Championship being held in Voronezh will provide an invaluable opportunity for the Indian team as they will be competing with the best from around the world. Our ultimate goal is Olympics and this competition will help us to evaluate our current performance and plan a way forward. Our climbers are excited and raring to give their best performance.”
Brig Ahok Abbey, President, Indian Mountaineering Foundation, said, “We are delighted and proud to be sending the best young athletes to represent India at the World Championship. On behalf of everyone at IMF, I would like to thank Tata Steel and TSAF for playing such an important role in supporting sport climbing in India.
The Tata Group through TSAF and Tata Trusts has been a pioneer in developing sport climbing in India. The first wall at Indian Mountaineering Foundation was sponsored by Tata Steel in 1994 and named as ‘JRD Tata Wall’. The two climbing World Cups, hosted in India, were organised by a private club and sponsored by Tata Trusts. The Tata Steel Adventure Foundation Climbing Centre was set up in 2014 and has since developed into one of the best available facilities in India to promote the sport and nurture young talent. TSAF has also been supporting many under-privileged children by providing training, nutrition, lodging and education.
In December 2019, TSAF had launched ‘Tata Steel Sport Climbing Championship’, a three-day open competition for young climbers between the age group of 6 and 16. TSAF has since made this championship the flagship annual climbing event in India that will introduce this new and emerging international sporting event to the country’s youth. The annual sporting event will also be a new platform to involve the community at large and facilitate a wide adoption of climbing in India and create a network of institutions and stakeholders to increase the reach of the sport.