Memories on the wall

Memories on the wall
It’s a Spider-Man movie that plays out as Bharath Pereira, a consistent wall-climbing champion, scrambles through a rough boulder and finishes at the top with nothing less than a smile.

The 10th standard student’s metal of consistency and sheer persistence has helped him carve memories on the wall. The aesthetics of this Bengaluru-based Spider-Man is as awe-inspiring, if not more. A part of his life now, Bharat says that wall climbing to him is as natural as walking after getting out of the bed.

“I can’t think of my childhood bereft of wall climbing. I went to Kanteerva when I was four years old, for the first time, and felt completely at home after climbing a wall there. My parents also kept bringing me back for they knew that I enjoyed it. Soon, it became a habit and my life revolved around wall climbing. Now, I can’t think of doing anything else.”

He started trained every alternate day in areas such as strength and endurance and went on to bag trophies far beyond anyone’s reach. Though the wall at Kanteerva Stadium and Equilibrium Climbing Station, he has unleashed his potential at the terrains of Ramnagar, Turahalli, Nelamangala, Hyderabad and Badami.

He won the 2008 Asian Youth Sport Climbing Championship where he won three silver medals. His big victory at The Nationals came later on, where he placed first in lead climbing and bouldering climbing and came third in speed climbing.

 This was after repetitive, spiralling success in an international competition in Bali in 2008, where he bagged three silver medals. Prior to the Nationals, he was also a champion in Singapore where he grabbed two silver medals and won one silver medal in Malaysia. “I guess I am just used to winning,” he laughs. However, not after many a slip.

“One just has to be brave in this sport as they will get the hang of it through practise. I have slipped multiple times but the view is only enjoyable after a tough climb. Now, I train at ‘Equilibrium’ now where people occasionally come and ask for tips. If I see them take a wrong route I tell them.”

And the view after a hard climb is always serene. “When it’s a competition it feels great as everyone is watching you,” he laughs.

The ‘Spider-Man’ is now preparing for his Board exams and has taken a break from training but hopes to get back on the wall very soon.

He says, “It’s hard being away from it. Wall climbing is not as hard as exams.” It is heart-warming for him to see more children exposed to wall climbing today as he says that it’s always helpful to start young.”

“However, most people don’t understand the sport. They always ask me when I am going to climb Mount Everest when I tell them that I am a climber. So there should be more awareness created. The government must also step in and help in terms of sponsors and facilities. The facilities and venues to practise wall climbing also aren’t great and not upto international standards. There is a major difference between the state of walls here and abroad.”

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