Sportageous has a brief chat with the Iranian climbing champion Hamed Heydari, he explains what it’s like to be a climber in Iran. He shares his future aspirations, his plans for his climbing career and the reception of this sport in Iran.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, who you are and what you do?
My name is Hamed Heydari, I am 28 years old, I’m from Iran and I have been rock climbing for ten years!
Currently, I am one of the champions in this sport in my country, Iran, and I also work as a rock climbing coach.
What is your passion outside climbing?
That’s a tricky one!
Frankly speaking, rock climbing is my whole life. It is my work, my career, my income, my fun and everything. I feel as though if, for some reason, I cannot rock climb any day, I am not okay.
How did you get into climbing?
So, interesting story. There was a time I was completely unaware of climbing and the impact it could have on my life.
I was introduced to rock climbing by one of my friends, Milad. In fact, before that, I was into table tennis and I was a Ping Pong champion.
Do you feel your country has the necessary resources to support climbing at an international level?
Unfortunately, our country does not support athletes, nor do we have the adequate support required to make this sport big on an international level.
And usually, athletes participate in competitions with bearing all costs and expenses themselves and without sponsors.
What discipline do you focus on the most and why?
I do other sports like snowboarding and wakeboarding, slacklining, para-gliding, amongst others. But I guess it’s safe to say that rock climbing is my forte.
Do you think climbing has grown in Iran since you started?
We have made a lot of improvements since I started, but we aren’t good enough if we look at ourselves from an international perspective.
If we speak in terms of a number of years, then I think we are always two years behind the international trends of climbing.
Which sport is the most easily accessible in Iran?
Usually soccer, wrestling and basketball are more active in Iran.
Tell me a little bit about climbing and coaching the sport?
Yes, I am a rock-climber as well as a rock climbing instructor!
My interest and aim is to reach a good position, gather some valuable experience in this area, and to share everything I know about climbing with my students. I want to see them progress further and further.
Rock climbing and lead climbing are your forte, do you enjoy other sports as well?
Yes, I enjoy another sport quite a lot, like I mentioned earlier I am a fan of wakeboarding, slacklining, para-gliding and snowboarding.
I believe another sports add strength to me, which eventually helps me perform well in my main discipline of climbing.
What is the biggest challenge for you in climbing?
The biggest challenge that I have personally set for myself in the rock climbing area, is to reach the world stage.
I guess this is challenging because in Iran the situation is such that its easier to get demotivated than to stay motivated.
Climbing is now an Olympic sport, do you think this will enable Iran to put more money into the sport and eventually grow it?
I believe Iranian climbers can become champions in this field.
They can break the top records in the world, but unfortunately, there is no support for the athletes or the sport.