Amidst the excitement surrounding the upcoming Pokhara Enduro race, the event's organising committee has focused its attention on ensuring the safety of participants.
The organising team has taken steps to establish crucial arrangements that will set the tone for a secure and memorable event.
More than 50 riders from 11 countries are converging on Pokhara’s scenic Arba Hills, 7km from the lakeside, for the three-day event beginning November 23. This is the first time that Pokhara is playing host to an international enduro mountain bike race.
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There will be a medical team on standby throughout the event, as well as insurance coverage for peace of mind, enabling participants to push their limits.
Given the inherent risks associated with adventure sports, the event organiser has established a comprehensive medical support system.
A 10-member emergency medical team, comprising two doctors and eight paramedics and nurses, has been set up for the purpose under Dr Santosh Baniya, a consultant emergency physician at Western Regional Hospital, Pokhara.
"The well-being of the participants is our primary concern," said the professor at the Pokhara Academy of Health Sciences, expressing his enthusiasm for the partnership with Pokhara Enduro.
“We are fully committed to providing immediate medical attention in case of emergencies and ensuring that the race is not only thrilling but also safe for everyone involved."
According to him, paramedics will be strategically stationed along the routes of the race, armed with medical equipment to respond swiftly in the event of any untoward incidents
“We’ve inspected all six trails in the hills and identified possible hotspots,” he said, adding that two paramedics will be stationed at each of those spots.
Dr Baniya, an expert in high-altitude emergencies, explained that paramedics will administer first aid for minor injuries, while individuals with severe injuries will be transported to the base.
“Two to three ambulances will be on standby. Anyone with serious traumatic injuries will be rushed to either Western Regional Hospital or Metrocity Hospital," he said.
Pokhara Enduro has also joined forces with United Ajod Insurance, a reputable insurance provider, further reinforcing the commitment to safety at every level.
The company has extended a comprehensive insurance package specifically tailored for the event.
Aadar Bhandari, who heads the Human Resources and Strategy Department at United Ajod Insurance Limited, expressed confidence in the collaboration.
We understand the risks associated with extreme sports, and our goal is to provide a safety net that allows participants to focus on the thrill of the race. Bhandari said, 'It's about striking the right balance between excitement and security.
As part of the agreement with Pokhara Enduro, the company has extended insurance coverage to encompass up to 150 individuals, including participants and others associated with the race, through its Group Personal Accident Insurance policy.
The insurance provider pays Rs700,000 in the event of the insured's accidental death to their nominee(s) and up to Rs100,000 in case of major injuries.
An air of assurance permeates the buzz of anticipation as the international race day approaches.
The racecourse, featuring a challenging combination of rugged terrain and breathtaking landscapes, will be meticulously inspected by safety experts before each race, the race organiser announced.
Race Director Sunil Sharma said, “Every detail, from the state of obstacles on the trails to the visibility of signage, will be scrutinised to ensure the highest standards of safety.”
When the event concludes on November 25, marking the end of a thrilling day, its success will be measured not only in the skilful manoeuvres of the riders but also in the seamless execution of safety measures, he claimed.
“Pokhara Enduro will not only showcase the adrenaline-fueled excitement of extreme sports but also set a new standard for safety,” Sharma declared. “It will leave a lasting legacy for future international races in this picturesque valley.”