Adventures galore at youth fest

Adventures galore at youth fest

As a part of 17th National Youth Festival (NYF), the General Thimmayya National Academy of Adventure (Bangalore) has planned a number of adventure activities for Mangaloreans as well as NYF participants. Ronald Anil Fernandes takes a look at the hair-raising events and manoeuvrers.

One of the instructors taking a 180 degree turn on a speed boat on River Nethravathi.With over 3,500 participants from 32 states (including Union Territories) from all over India and 4 foreign teams from SAARC countries including Pakistan, Afganistan, Sri Lanka and Burma, perhaps Mangalore has never witnessed such a huge and diverse gathering in its history, that too for a period of five days.

After a mammoth procession as a part of the inauguration of 17th National Youth Festival on January 12, various competitions have begun at different venues in the City from January 13.

In addition, every evening there is cultural and musical extravaganza by renowned musicians and artistes like Lesli Lewis & Hariharan, Euphoria, Shivamani and Vasundaradas. To top it all, the district administration in association with General Thimmayya National Academy of Adventure has organised various adventure activities in three different parts of the City.

While Rappelling, Jhummering and Zorbing has been organised near Town Hall in Mangalore, Jet Sking, Banana boat ride and Kayaking has been organised at Kadekar (near Ullal bridge) in Nethravathi river and para sailing is going on at Panambur beach.

And all these events are offered free of cost to the participants of National Youth Festival.
Speaking to City Herald, General Thimmayya National Academy of Adventure Administrative Officer Jeetendra Shetty said that the main aim of the Academy is to instill the spirit of adventure in youth so that they overcome the fear factor. “Fear factor is one aspect that prevents youth from taking up challenges,” he said and added that the adventure sports activities not only help youth cross the fear-barrier, but also help the youth to develop self-confidence and to be path-breakers in every field they venture.

Water sports

Out of the three places designated for adventure activities, a large number of people have taken part in water sports in Kadekar.

Water Sports in-charge Prakash said that more than 350 persons have taken part in the last 3-days.

Be it jet-sking, banana-ride or kayaking, many participants were thrilled to take part in speed boat ride, he said and added that the imported speed boats could go at a 100 km speed.

Quite interestingly, a 16-member delegation from Pakistan, Srilanka and Afganistan too took part in the water sports in Kadekar on Friday.

Para sailing

The para sailing is monitored by none other than the chief of Aero Sports Instructor in the Academy Paresh Karmarkar, who also has a commercial pilot license (CPL). Paresh who has flown Sesna 152 (2 seater), Sesna 172 (4 seater) and Piper Seneca (twin engine aircraft) is helping participants in para sailing.

Though the timings for para sailing was fixed between 9.30 am and 5 pm, due to poor weather conditions, it will be held only between 1 pm and 6 pm from January 14, he informed.


The adventurous event was inaugurated by none other than District-in-Charge Minister Krishna J Palemar who walked down the wall of Town Hall as if he was walking on a road! Since then, many participants have tried to walk on the wall.

Accident-free record

Quite interestingly, the Academy set up in 1989 under the aegis of Youth Services and Sports Department, has a record of accident-free adventures till date, despite the fact that it has got a number of adventure activities including rock climbing, trekking, rappelling, jhummering, river crossing (tyrolene traverse), rafting, kayaking, canoeing, sailing, wind surfing, jet sking, water banana, water sking, dinghy ride, parasailing and paragliding among others.

The Academy has 48 trainers/instructors and all of them have been certified by reputed training institutes like the Academy itself or Himalayan Mountaineering Institute or National Institute of Water Sports in Goa among others.

The second important aspect is that the Academy takes extreme care of equipment. “We maintain a log book and after a certain prescribed period, we don’t use the equipment, however good it may be. On the other hand, if the equipment falls from a height, say even 20 feet, we discard it,” says Shetty.

The Academy has centres at Ramnagar (National Rock Climbing Centre), Badami (Rock Climbing Centre), Karwar and Kondajji (Aqua Sports Centre) and a state of the art aqua sports centre is coming up at Vanivilas Nagar in Chitradurga at a cost of Rs 1.5 crore and a Nature Study Centre at Barpole in Kodagu.

Sad news!

The sad news is that the water sports (except the one being organised by Panambur Beach Development Corporation at Panambur beach) will end along with the end of National Youth Festival.

Despite plenty of opportunities in the coastal region, its sad that the authorities concerned are yet to tap the potential in the region. But the good news is that the chairman of General Thimmayya National Academy of Adventure is none other than Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda! If he can make up his mind (being a native of the district), Mangaloreans can enjoy the rides not only for the     next three days, but round the year.

Get trained in adventure activities

The General Thimmayya National Academy of Adventure is offering training to interested youth regularly. It includes:

* Orientation programme - 5 days;
*  Basic water sports training - 12 days;
*  Advanced water sports training - 10 days; and
* Trainers’ training programme - 10 days

The Academy had a budget of Rs 7 lakh in the year 2008-09 which crossed Rs 1 crore in 2011-12.