How the small temple town Udupi hosted a National level Kabaddi Tournament
Kabaddi is a very popular sport in various parts of the world but when we talk about India, it's not just a sport but pride to play a sport that is connected to the soil of the country. On the other hand All India Inter-University Kabaddi Championship, it becomes even more interesting in India because we see the new and filtered talented players come from various parts of the country to compete with the players from different Universities. The University of Mangalore took up the challenge of organizing a competitive All India University level tournament for Men category. The tournament was held from 18th December - 21st December 2019, at Poornaprajna college. The college where classes start at 9 am and goes till 4 pm, where all the faculties and students had shown an immense enthusiasm to contribute some efforts, worked day in and out to make this a successful sports event.
What is the most obvious thing you will do in a place like Udupi?
Udupi is a place where we see many devotees come from various parts of the world to visit temples and sightseeing to beaches in the city but this was a time when it was not devotees or travelers but it was players from many different cities of India. And what we saw was players and coaches enjoying Udupi's signature Ice-Cream 'GADBAD'. Of course, Udupi is one of the most humid cities in India, but the reason we got from players was, when they came to Udupi it was wintering at their respective places and they don't get a chance to enjoy Ice cream during December. They also added that Udupi's Ice-cream is so delicious that they can not resist coming here again. Few Players also visited beaches in Udupi.
Teams from 4 Zones of India had come to participate, and 4 teams from each zone. It was not only Players and coaches who had a positive motive and hope of coming to Lord Krishna's city Udupi, but many renowned legends of Kabaddi had come to find new talent loaded with surprising skills which we see in Pro Kabaddi League. Jagadeesh Kumble, Coach of PKL team Telugu Titans, who arrived on the day of the inauguration, Randhir Singh Sehrawat, Coach of PKL team Bengaluru Bulls arrived on the 3rd day of the tournament. Video Analyst of U.P. Yoddha and work got easy for many other scouting heads when they could watch all the matches on their phones itself on the Kabaddi Adda youtube channel. In conversation with Coach Randhir Singh, we got to know that he had already identified few quality players whom he will introduce in the next season of Pro Kabaddi League.
Interestingly, Kabaddi Adda team met few local businessmen, like Ice-cream shop and stationery shop owner who wanted to watch kabaddi matches but were not able to come as they can not close their shops so they watched all the matches on YouTube channel of Kabaddi Adda, they also thank Kabaddi Adda team for making this possible where they could watch matches from their shops and home itself.
Kabaddi is a sport where we see a lot of sweat, injuries and blood, and hard work by players given to play this sport. Kabaddi Players went through a high-intensity workout and practice session to upskill there performance. 80% of these players are coming from tier 2 and tier 3 cities of India who respect and treat their coaches like a god.
Are you also waiting for the next season of Pro Kabaddi League?
Did you know?
Sunil Kumar and Parvesh Bhainswal were identified by Gujarat Fortune Giants in the University tournament.
Pawan Sehrwat was identified by Bengaluru Bulls in a local tournament.
Surender Gill was identified by U.P. Yodhha in the All India University Tournament last year.
Poornaprajana College invited Kabaddi players like PKL team Bengal Warriors Captain and former Vice-captain of Indian Kabaddi team Maninder Singh and Proud Karnataka Players like Sukesh Hegde (Bengal Warriors), Prashant Kumar Rai (Haryana Steelers) and Sachin Suvarna (Puneri Paltan) who had come and give their views on this sport, President of Udupi Shri Admar Mutt Education Council H.H. Shri Vishwapriya Theertha Swamiji, Vice-Chancellor of Mangalore University Prof. P. Subrahmanya Yadapadithaya, are the few names. All the guest motivated the teams and the players, Swami Ji said that is a sport which is connected to Indian soil, he added by saying that he will always support Kabaddi and it should be recognized as our Indian Sport.
Final match clash was between GND University and MD University, Both teams had few Pro Kabaddi New Young Players. MD University, Rohtak won with the score reading 28-47 and was crowned as champions. Third place was taken by Kurukshetra University. Mangalore University Team had a huge fan base, there were around 1000 spectators in every Mangalore University match to support and cheer their team.
Overall it was a very good tournament where players came and showcased their skills. Organizers had taken good care of all the teams and management. It could be seen that students who volunteered for the tournament were the backbone of the tournament, from the stay of the teams, helping officials to food and everything else was very well executed.