Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Once they used to till their farm land to sow seeds, now they are ploughing their opponents in kabaddi field. In a nutshell, this is the story of kabaddi players who are representing Madhya Pradesh in Khelo India Youth Games (KIYG) 2022.
Most of the Kabaddi players representing the state team come from farmers’ family. There are 24 players including boys and girls in the MP Teams and 20 of them are from farmers’ family. The representation of Kabaddi players from farmers family indicates this is the game that burgeons in rural area.
Kabaddi is the second most watched sport in the country as the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) is the second most watched sports league after Indian Premier League (IPL).
The latest season of Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) raked in 222 million viewers, according to viewership data from the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) India 17.5 per cent more than the 2021 season — only seven million short of Indian Premier League 2022 (229 million viewers).
No Government Kabaddi Academy
The athletes and coach told Free Press, “All the players that are here had to work very hard because there is no government coaching academy in the villages. Nor there is any Sports Authority of India (SAI) Kabaddi centre in MP.”
“Many players play till junior level but they quit Kabaddi after playing senior nationals as they don’t get recognition or rewards” says Kabaddi coach.
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