Mashal Sports, the organisers of VIVO Pro Kabaddi League has announced the Future Kabaddi Heroes programme, a comprehensive talent scouting and development initiative to foster and nurture future kabaddi champions.
In its first leg, the programme this year will be conducted across 18 cities. The programme, started with Mumbai on Monday, will be followed by Chennai, Coimbatore, Nagpur, Thrissur, Chandigarh, Bengaluru, New Delhi, Lucknow, Vishakhapatnam, Patna, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Indore, Imphal, Jaipur, Bhubaneshwar and Ahmedabad to identify the kabaddi talent that the country has to offer. The cities have been chosen basis expert assessment of kabaddi talent spotted in local tournaments held there in the past. The Phase I of this programme would be conducted over 2-3 days per city.
Initiated last year as a pathway to the auction pool in VIVO Pro Kabaddi Season 5, the Future Kabaddi Heroes programme scouts promising young talent from thousands of aspirants from all over the country. Last year the programme received an overwhelming response from over 4,600 participants. Post a rigorous three-staged selection process, 133 players finally made it to the VIVO Pro Kabaddi 2017 auction pool.
Launching the programme, Anupam Goswami, League Commissioner, VIVO Pro Kabaddi League said, “With the Future Kabaddi Heroes Programme, our aim is to identify promising talent and build successive generations of higher quality Kabaddi players. This initiative worked wonderfully for us in 2017 with the young aspirants being selected by franchise teams. This year, we increase the reach of the programme by adding geographies in consultation with the Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India and Kabaddi state federations. It is our constant endeavour to improve the level of performance and competition in the VIVO Pro Kabaddi League, and this infusion of fresh talent adds the necessary impetus.”
Janardan Singh Gehlot, President, International Kabaddi Federation said, “Kabaddi is a true grassroots sport in India and there is no dearth of young talent in the country. This programme is a platform for these youngsters to showcase and hone their skills for a successful career in Kabaddi. As opportunities in the field of professional kabaddi increase, what was missing so far was an organised, rigorous scouting and training programme. Addressing this need, AKFI and Mashal Sports with the help of the state federations, have put this initiative together.”
Following a rigorous shortlisting process, a total of over 200-220 players will be selected for Phase II and out of those, exceptional 80-100 players will be chosen for Phase III for a month-long intensive training camp and subsequently be drafted in the player auction pool of VIVO Pro Kabaddi Season 6 under the ‘New Young Players’ category. The camp will follow a designed module created in consultation with renowned coaches and experts from the field of sports. Along with professional coaches and specialist trainers, the team will also include physiotherapists and nutritionists, who will add value in terms of getting the youngsters ready for the rigours requirements of professional kabaddi.