03 April 2009

Mountaineering in the sports pages

When Everest pioneer Pemba Dorje Sherpa met the Minister for Youth and Sports, Gopal Shakya, to handover the jacket he wore when he climbed the worlds highest peak in a record breaking time, the story was published in the sports pages of practically every newspaper in Nepal.

Perhaps it was because (1) he was meeting with the Minister for Youth and Sports and (2) he was donating his jacket to the Nepal Olympic Museum, as mountaineering stories rarely, if ever, make it to the back pages of Nepali rags.

I have long held the belief that Nepal's sports media needs to do much more to promote mountaineering as a sport. If they can monitor Chess events on a daily basis, surely they can cover a discipline that has brought much glory to the country. Articles on mountaineering, mountain weather reports and profiles of the climbers should feature periodically in the sports pages - especially during the peak climbing seasons.

On a related note Minister Shakya promised to include mountaineering as a sports discipline in the government's new sports policy.

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