Neither government nor corporate's are supporting the funding
Neither government nor corporate’s are supporting the funding


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.

“We were expecting some good amount of public funds, but are stuck in bureaucratic knots. So we are breaking up our financial target into smaller amounts and reaching out to a wider range of people,” an organiser said, adding, services of a professional marketing agency Meraki Sport & Entertainment, have also been sought.

Even as talks with government agencies and corporates continue, they are now approaching the public to raise the required funds for the event.

Apart from launching campaigns on a dedicated crowd funding site, volunteers have fanned out across the country to ensure that the right amount of funds get collected. Their simple mantra — ‘Let’s get the wall home’.

And it seems to be working. Mountaineers, climbers, outdoor enthusiasts from across the country have signed up as ‘campaigners’ on the crowdfunding platform.

“We’re thrilled with how many non-climbers are donating to the cause, just to support the passion and determination to bring the cup to the country,” say the organisers.

The expenses — including mandatory fees to be paid to the International Federation of Sports Climbing, travel and accommodation of technical delegates, prize money etc — happen in a staggered fashion and for now, the first lot of commitments have been met, they said.

But more is required and the sense of urgency to raise the resources is evident when one meets the team, which is managing to put the show together along with their day jobs.

“We know it is a daunting task but we’re getting close to the finish line. Every penny counts. Just a little help from everyone and we’ll be through! Just imagine, it will be a world cup being held in our country, funded mainly by the passionate people! Has that ever happened in sporting history before?” the organisers wonder aloud.