What's this Challenge about?
I'm Fumiya Hamanoue.
I’m called “beach”by everyone.
I struggle every day to become the world's champion while fighting the progressive intractable eye disease called retinitis pigmentosa.
We have decided to ask for your support in participating and winning the Paraclimbing Japan Championship and Paraclimbing World Cup in 2020!
Sports climbing has been added to the world tournament scheduled to be held in Tokyo in 2020, but unfortunately para climbing has not been selected as an event. The competitions that are selected for major international competitions can be expected to be subsidized by various organizations such as the national government and companies. But paraclimbing is still a minor competition, so we can't get the support from them.
In terms of participating in this tournament, we will do our best to become world's champion as “Team Beach” with three staff members such as trainers and dietitians. In addition to my own travel expenses, more than 10 million yen will be required, such as the cost of the team staff such as navigator, trainer, nutritionist, and gym use for training.
About Fumiya Hamanoue
I'm 28 years old, born in Kyoto, and currently living alone in Tokyo, working for a group company of a general trading company. At the age of 13, he was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, one of the intractable diseases of the eye, and obtained a disability certificate in 2008 after progression.
When I was diagnosed, there was no major problem in my daily life. Even at the age of thirteen, I wasn't even able to figure out what that word "retinitis pigmentosa" meant, even when it was called “specific disease” or “intractable disease”.
However, as the disease worsens, I have learned that I’m a little different from my surroundings .
When I was diagnosed in the first year of junior high school, I belonged to the soft tennis club. I couldn't recognize the color of the white school building and the color of the ball.
I managed to participate in the practice. But before the game, no one accepted me as a pair player.
In addition, there were more situations in which I felt danger, such as falling into a ditch while driving a bicycle at night and colliding with a car many times.
The entrance exams of university were a major turning point.
As the day of the exam draws near, I couldn't finish answering all questions and it was a serious problem. I inquired each university about measures such as extending the time, but no one helped me. After that, It turned out that grant of disability certificate was accepted.
In this way, becoming a disabled person was a feeling of "one relief" in terms of feelings. Until then, I couldn't understand my situation, and I could only laugh and cheat on a lot of blunders. But the sense of liberty that they could explain in a single word as "disability" gave me a lot of impact.
After entering university, it was difficult to gauge someone's feelings on a campus where many people come and go . I couldn't get the help of those who would call me and help me at the time.I wasn't able to accept my disability, and I gradually became reluctant to build relationships.
Intractable disease called retinitis pigmentosa
Retinitis pigmentosa is said to occur as frequently as 1 in 4,000 to 8,000, and there is currently no cure for it.
In my case, it is sometimes difficult to read characters or distinguish human faces because there is a defect near the center of the visually impaired visual field. The appearance differs depending on the degree of light and darkness. For example, in the daytime, you can roughly see the figure of a person walking, and you can somehow understand the boundaries of roads and buildings, so there is no obstacle to walking.
In an unfamiliar environment, each thing takes longer time than usual. But most of the time I could resolve the situation without having to rely on vision by experiencing it repeatedly.
Encounter with climbing
I think that I liked doing physical activity since I was a child, but I wasn't particularly good at sports. Since coming to Tokyo, I have been tried blind bowling, blind tennis, running, and other sports.
And then I was invited to a climbing event at Monkey Magic (https://www.monkeymagic.or.jp/
Monkey Magic is a non-profit organization that aims to greatly expand the potential of visually impaired and other people through free climbing, based on the concept of "even invisible walls can be overcome."
The attraction of climbing that I firstly felt was the atmosphere of the Monkey Magic event. The fact that climbing itself did not have a gap between "healthy people" and "disabled people", and where I could go at my own pace. Also, Koichiro Kobayashi, the representative of Monkey Magic, who has the same retinitis pigmentosa, was greatly influenced by seeing him active in the world.
As I continue, each of the many people I have met through climbing has stimulated me by the independence of living with hard work. I started to want something to master and I started going to climbing gyms many times a week.
About para climbing
Paraclimbing has three divisions: visual impairment, amputation, and neuropathy.
In addition, there are classes based on the degree of disability. Classification is divided into B1, B2, and B3 based on light perception and visual acuity. The B1 class is the class with the highest degree of disability in the visually impaired category.
B2 class is what I will challenge. Climbers in the visually impaired compete in the competition with a navigator to replace their eyes. The navigator tells the position and shape of the stone by voice, and climbers rely on that information to climb. While climbing in general is an individual sport, climbing for the visually impaired is a team sport that requires a combination with a navigator.
Previously I had a conflict until I accepted myself as a disabled person.
Meanwhile, I encountered paraclimbimng by introduction of an acquaintance. I saw massive potential in climbing and have gotten absorbed in training.
Two years later, I reached the 2nd in the All Japan Championship, and half a year later, he finished 3nd place in the World Championships at the Innsbruck.
Last year, the schedule of Paraclimbing World Championships in JAPAN, which I was looking forward to, were changed three months ago, and I went to Brianson, France.
Amid growing anxiety, pressure and illness, I fell fourth.
After falling from third to fourth, I was not able to practice for a month. There was a time when I was depressed but thanks to the encouragement of fellows, I re-recognized the enjoyment of climbing and the possibility of sports.
With the support members I can rely on, we aim to be the best in the world in Innsbruck this year, the same place as the first competition.
And I want to bring courage and hope to the world through para climbing.