Government support will help paragliding flourish, says Raghav Sundar
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Government support will help paragliding flourish, says Raghav Sundar

This is not a mass sport so we don’t promote it. Since it is a sport with a lot of risks involved we expect only self-motivated and interested people to take up the sport, says Sundar

pune Updated: Feb 13, 2019 16:53 IST
Jigar Hindocha
Jigar Hindocha
Hindustan Times, Pune
pune,government,paragliding
Raghav Sundar, president, Paragliding Association of India.(Pratham Gokhale/HT Photo)

Raghav Sundar, president of Paragliding Association of India (feels that government support will help sports to grow.

He tells Jigar Hindocha on day one of the Panchgani Open Pre Paragliding World Cup and Indian Nationals, that paragliding, as a sport, is conducted around the nation.

Sundar was elected as the president of Paragliding Association of India in 2017 and his term will continue till 2020

When and how was the Paragliding Association of India formed?

Paragliding Association of India was set up by recreational paragliding pilots. I joined the asscociation in 2010 along with 20 people. In the year, 2013-2014 the number went upto 300-400 but at present we have 250 active members.

How is the competition conducted?

There are 103 pilots participating in the event from 23 countries. Every day a specific task is given to the gliders. The task will have take off, way points and end point.

Way points are imaginary cylinders in sky pointed on certain locations. Every movement of a glider is recorded on GPS tracker. A glider has to pass through every imaginary cylinder pointed in the sky before reaching the end point.

The take off is from the hill top while end point is located on flat land.

How closely is paragliding followed in our country?

People from different backgrounds are taking in the sport as a recreational activity. We conduct event is Panchgani, Himalaya, Kerala, Mumbai and even in Goa.

What of government support towards the sport?

Currently state governments do not have enough information to support paragliding but once the number of gliders increases this is bound to change and we will one day be able to send a paragliding team to participate in Olympic games and other meets with the active involvement of the people in charge.

On what aspects is the Paragliding Association of India is focusing in the coming days?

To get government support, getting licenses for gliders. Help train gliders keen to compete in international competitions.

How does it compare to other countries?

Advanced countries have highly evolved infrastructure and systems to support paragliding. For them it is not new so there are no problems. However elsewhere it is still not accepted or understood properly.

What of promotion of the sport?

This is not a mass sport, so we don’t promote it. Since it is a sport with a lot of risks involved we expect only self motivated and interested people to take up the sport.

First Published: Feb 13, 2019 16:52 IST