Efforts to create new interest for extreme sports now moving

EFFORTS are now being made to create new interest on extreme sports in Cebu. It was ironic that such kind of sports activity faded into near oblivion just after Cebuano enthusiast Jun Vidal won the gold for boulder climbing in the 2005 Southeast Asian Climbing Federation Championship.

Other Cebu enthusiasts also won in 2005 in inter-collegiate competitions in Manila for speed climbing, and in other related national competitions.

“Many of us have ‘graduated’ and have since shifted to other sports, like mountain biking and other sports,” noted Ian Sepulveda, an enthusiast who operates Center of Gravity that provides equipment and professionals for extreme sports activities.

He closed his Vertigo facilities at Baseline, and focused on company and school events.

But Sepulveda noted that a new generation has emerged in Cebu, particularly those in grade school, teenagers and new young professionals in their early 20s.

“We want to give them the opportunity to be exposed to extreme sports, even just starting with wall climbing and driving down a zip line,” he told sports reporters in an interaction at Brothers Burger at BTC yesterday.

“We, Filipinos, may love basketball and other ball games, but we are (figuratively) natural coconut climbers,” he added.
‘Xtreme’ event

Sepulveda said he is pleased that the management of Banilad Town Centre (BTC) took the initiative to create new interest on extreme sports, especially for this summer.

BTC is conducting a two-day “Xtreme Sports” activity at its parking area this weekend, or on April 18 and 19, re-introducing wall climbing and zip line events.

Conducted as part of its Summer Experience program, BTC customers will have the opportunity to experience these for free but for a certain current minimum purchase at any of its tenants.

However, one may just pay a minimal charge to climb the wall or ride the zip line, it was learned.

Center of Gravity has been tapped to provide the facilities, including the wire harness and safety gears, while Junior Chamber International (JCI), through its Cebu-Mactan Channel chapter, is helping out to get the event organized.

The facilities will include a 25-feet tall and 8-feet wide wall, complete with professional climbing harness, and an 80-foot zip line from the second floor of BTC’s south wing near Pod 5 and above Formo, running over the parking lot to the other side near Yellow Cab, Postrio and Go Nuts Donuts.

Minors and adults

“Xtreme Sports” will be open from grade school age, or from about seven years in age, who are “old enough to appreciate commands,” and adults weighing up to about 200 lbs or some 80 kilos, or “those who can still carry their own weight.”

Briefings are given before one would climb the wall or ride down the zip line, according to BTC marketing director Cerwin T. Eviota.

Adults will be asked to sign a waiver and declare that they are physically fit, while parents will do for the minors, he added.

Eviota disclosed that BTC may opt to extend “Xtreme Sports” on the next weekend on April 24 and 25 if it would note a demand from new and returning enthusiasts this weekend.

He and Sepulveda indicated that they may yet organize next month wall climbing competitions, like speed climbing and bouldering. “Let us know that you want it,” they said.

In line with this, BTC will also initiate the creation of a BTC Sports Club, it was learned.

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