Intl Paragliding Championship to begin on Apr 7

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Kochi, Mar 10: The Third International Paragliding Championship in Kerala will be held in the hill station of Vagamon from April 7 to 12, organisers Adventure Sports and Sustainable Tourism Academy (ASSTA) announced today.

Addressing a press conference here, Kochi-based ASSTA Director Gopa K Varma said nearly 60 glider pilots, including from 12 other countries, were expected to participate in the championship which carries prize money of Rs one lakh.

Claiming that this was the only paragliding championship being held in the country at present, Mr Varma said Vagamon in Idukki District had been rated as among the best paragliding sites in Asia. Mr Marcus King, Associate Editor of 'Cross Country' magazine, the largest selling magazine on gliding in the world, will also be attending the championship.

Other foreign paragliders would be coming from Canada, Australia, Austria, Germany, Holland, Belgium, the UK and Nepal. The event is being jointly organised by ASSTA and the Kerala Tourism Department, which is keen to promote Kerala as an adventure tourism spot. For the first time, a seminar on 'Adventure Tourism: Challenges and Possibilities' will be held as part of the championship.

To be held on April 7, the seminar would be inaugurated by Kerala Tourism Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan while State Tourism Secretary V Venu will deliver the keynote address.

An 'adventure fest' will also be held in Vagamon at the same time with various activities like camping, boating, mountain biking, archery, cave expeditions and trekking.

In the run-up to the adventure festival, a 4-wheel drive rally will be flagged off from Kochi and end at Vagamon on April 6 after covering Ernakulam, Alappuzha, Kottayam and Idukki Districts.


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