Kabaddi Adda

CEO of YKS, Vikas Gautam says- Yuva Kabaddi Series is like a breeding ground for young Kabaddi talent

The Yuva Kabaddi Series (YKS) has become a shining stage in the kabaddi circuit, providing a vital platform for young players to showcase their skills and climb the kabaddi ladder. Founded by Vikas Gautam, YKS is more than just a tournament; it's a year-long initiative dedicated to nurturing kabaddi talent across India.

Vikas Gautam's journey to kabaddi entrepreneur wasn't a straight line. After starting his career in sales, he realized it wasn't his passion. A move to Bangalore and a reconnection with an old friend, Arvind Sivdas (who worked with Saina Nehwal), sparked the kabaddi flame. Witnessing the rise of the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) in 2014, Gautam and Sivdas saw a gap - a lack of opportunities for young kabaddi players. This realization became the seed of YKS.

Unlike traditional tournaments, YKS is a year-round event held across multiple cities. Divided into Summer, Monsoon, and Winter editions, it offers continuous exposure and competitive experience for aspiring Kabaddi stars. This consistent platform has proven to be a breeding ground for talent, with over 60 YKS players already making their mark in the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL).

Recognizing the importance of mental well-being, YKS partners with psychologists to offer mental health support to players throughout the tournament. They also understand the need for a life beyond kabaddi and offer a program called "Self-Siksha," which assesses players' academic skills and provides training in areas like data interpretation, helping them build future careers.

The commitment to player development extends to financial well-being. YKS has invested over 10 crores in prize money and player experiences in the last two years, ensuring players are valued and supported. This investment creates a sustainable ecosystem that benefits the players, the sport, and ultimately, the future of kabaddi in India.


YKS is also breaking ground in promoting women's kabaddi. Their inaugural women's edition received a positive response, highlighting the need for more opportunities for female kabaddi players. While acknowledging the social challenges women in sports still face, YKS is committed to creating a safe and supportive environment, ensuring a level playing field for aspiring female kabaddi stars.

Initially focused on North Indian kabaddi talent, YKS has expanded its reach. The Tamil Nadu edition, with 16 participating clubs, showcased the immense potential of players from the South. This regional expansion reflects the growing popularity of kabaddi across the country.

In a competitive landscape, YKS stands out through its commitment to transparency and player welfare. A structured selection process for referees and officials, prompt player payments, and year-long insurance coverage for players are just a few of the initiatives that set YKS apart. Additionally, their focus on high-quality production, engaging social media content, and data-driven player evaluation further strengthens their position in the kabaddi world.

With the 2025 Kabaddi World Cup on the horizon, YKS is confident that their players will be a driving force for the Indian team. They believe that 80% of the players representing India will have honed their skills on the YKS platform. Looking beyond the World Cup, YKS recognizes the importance of promoting kabaddi at the national and international level, particularly if India's bid to host the 2036 Olympics with kabaddi as a sport is successful. 

While YKS doesn't directly focus on junior-level players, they create a ripple effect that inspires younger athletes to strive for the YKS platform. This, coupled with their focus on data-driven injury prevention and player performance optimization, paves the way for a stronger, healthier future for kabaddi in India.