Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Adventure Sports in India

India has numerous locations where adventure sports can be practiced. Adventure sports require stamina, strength and physical fitness. They can be broadly categorized into three groups:

  • Land Sports
  • Water Sports
  • Air Sports

From high mountain ranges to fast-paced rivers, India has numerous options for indulging in adventure sports. Trekking, ice-skating, skiing, rock climbing, mountain cycling, vehicle safaris, camel safaris and caving are types of adventure sports that can be practiced on land. White water rafting, surfing, swimming, scuba diving, river crossing, para-sailing, water skiing, kayaking and canoeing are amongst the most popular  water sports. Para-gliding, hang-gliding, ballooning, para-motoring, sky diving and bungee jumping are some of the important adventure sports that are performed in air.

The Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF) is a national adventure sports body. It organizes, supports and provides a base for mountaineering, skiing, rock climbing and trekking expeditions at high altitudes. IMF co-ordinates climbing activities in the Indian Himalayas, arranges national and international conferences, provides training facilities, organizes environment-cleaning camps, and arranges climbing competitions. The IMF is linked with the Ministries of Sports, Home, Defence, Tourism and Environment, of the Government of India.

The IMF was formed in 1957 as the ‘Sponsoring Committee’ of the Cho Oyu Expedition. The success of this expedition on May 15, 1958 encouraged the Committee to sponsor many more trips. In 1959, it's name was changed to the ‘Sponsoring Committee of Everest Expedition’, and in the following year the name was again changed to the "Sponsoring Committee for Mountaineering Expeditions’. In 1961, a permanent organization was finally set up and registered, as a national body.

The National Institute of Water Sports (NIWS) was setup by the Ministry of Tourism as a training institute for water sports, to promote water-based adventure tourism activities in the country. This training institute covers a range of water sports disciplines, including sailing, windsurfing, water skiing, scuba diving, river rafting and kayaking. The NIWS has provided extensive training on powerboat handling, river rafting, dinghy sailing, wind surfing, water skiing, kayaking, scuba diving, water sports orientation programmes, basic paragliding activities, and parasail boat conversions. Apart from providing training, the National Institute of Water Sports also promotes water sport activities in various states of India.

The Aero Club of India (ACI) is the apex body of all the flying clubs, gliding clubs and aero sports organisations in India. It is engaged in promoting air-based adventure sports such as powered flying, glider flying, skydiving, hang gliding, ballooning, parasailing, aero modelling and microlight flying. ACI is also a National Sports Federation recognised by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India. The main aim of the Aero Club of India is to encourage, protect and develop the study and practice of aeronautics and aviation in India. It also has an all India authority to organize aero sports competitions and sporting events.

Over the years, adventure sports in India have developed immensely under the related apex bodies for different types of adventure sports. Namely, The Indian Mountaineering Federation (IMF), The National Institute of Water Sports (NIWS), and The Aero Club of India (ACI).

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