From the very start of the Indian Army ,Army personnel are obligated towards Sport &Adventures .In the training Academies the GCs are also to focus on their sports & adventure section as it plays an important role in their curriculum.
A Large organisation like the Indian Army with a body of men who take physical activity seriously is bound to throw up athletes of distinction. With rigorous training and strict discipline over the years, the Indian Army has given to the country, a fairly good number of world-class sportspersons. A large number of Army personnel remain enduringly stationed on the country’s borders. The terrain there, along with the equipment already held by the formations, automatically provide rugged conditions for adventure training and sports.
Mountaineering, rock climbing, white water rafting, skiing, parachuting, kayaking are some sports activities, which also find operational use. With very little extra support hang gliding, hot air ballooning, and microlite aircraft flying find enthusiastic volunteers flocking to join up.
During a field posting, these sports help in a major way to de-stress.
A number of Army members have made India proud in the sports fields & won several awards .
Colonel SANGRAM SINGH is such a cherry on the top .
An alumnus of Rashtriya Indian Military School(RIMC),Dehradun and then to NDA AND IMA , Colonel Sangram was marvelous in boxing & squash . After commissioning into the army , he got inducted to the most elite Parachute Regiment (6thBattalion) in 2001.He has a fine taste of sports and Adventures since the academy days but his service rules barred him to continue further .
Sarfaraz is more than just a mountaineer, although his achievements as one are quite distinguished. He is also a sky-diver, a combat free faller and a certified Scuba Rescue Diver.
He has got his veins strong from his father . He is the son of Arjuna Awardee Colonel Balbir Singh Kular, who won hockey bronze at the Mexico Olympics. Colonel Sangram Singh is also the director and team leader of National Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports(NIMAS).
On the mountains, he has summited the highest peaks on four continents – Mt. Everest (Nepal-China, Asia), Mt. Aconcagua (Argentina, South America), Mt Elbrus (Russia, Europe) and Mt. Kilimanjaro (Tanzania, Africa). Leading the Everest team in 2018, he also took along a hockey stick to the peak.
Thrill of Rafting :
After completing the National Integration Trekking Expedition to Gorichen Glacier at 19,000 ft ,Col.Sarfaraz along with his 25 team members set a new national record by covering 720 km on seven rivers in one month. Col. Sarfaraz& his team rafted over the seven rivers — Kameng, Dibang,Nao-Dihing, Lohit, Subhansri, Siyom and Siyangmost of which flow from the eastern Himalayas into Arunachal Pradesh and then join to the Brahmaputra River .The Rafting Expedition was organized to explore Arunachal Pradesh through the major tributaries of Brahmputra and promote adventure tourism in the state.
Earlier this year Col.Sangram with his three mates completed a 40 day ,four-nation and 4000 km cycling from Manipur to Singapore. They rode along the Bay of Bengal, Gulf of Thailand, Strait of Malacca, and Singapore Straits . He also led a Joint Army NIMAS Team to Mt(Kangto-6(6602 M)where a record 41 climbers scaled the peak located in the Eastern Himalayas . He even climbed the Mt Everest with a team of eight members . Being a part of UN Peacekeeping force , he was deployed in Kongo and had to miss many expeditions.
When his father Col.Balbir Singh heard that his son Colonel Sarfaraz is a recipient of the Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award ,got very emotional and proudly said “People tell me I have an Arjuna award and now my son has also got this award but honestly, I think he has achieved something far greater than me. This award is much, much bigger and I am proud of his achievements, both in the armed forces and on the mountains,”.
It has been a year full of adventure for Col Singh but he has not stopped yet. He will again rise strong on his feet and will continue to accomplish new objectives ahead .That’s what the thing Army teaches.