A move to boost women's kabaddi in India

A move to boost women's kabaddi in India

A move to boost women's kabaddi in India

 Since its inception, the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) has raised the profile of players with many becoming household names across the country. While the men have basked in the spotlight, the women had to wait for their share of fame and success.

Along the lines of PKL, which is currently into its fourth season, the Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India (AKFI) along with Star India have launched the Women’s Kabaddi Challenge (WKC), aiming to boost the women’s game.

Following selection trials in Mumbai in April this year, the AKFI picked 42 players who were then included in three different teams after the players’ auction.

The three teams in the league, which is played on a round-robin format, are –– Ice Divas, Storm Queens and Fire Birds. Each team will play the other twice and the group-topper goes into the final. The second and third placed teams will play a qualifier to decide the second finalist.

The WKC has got popular names in Mamatha Poojary, Tejaswini Bai, Usha Rani and Abhilasha Mhatre. Storm Queens lead the table now with 13 points from four games, including two wins and one defeat.

The final will be played on July 31 in Hyderabad.
The players are enjoying the extra attention and feel WKC is a good platform to showcase their talent.

“Despite being an Arjuna Awardee, not many knew me until the Women’s Kabaddi Challenge. Now during the league, many people recognise me in different cities and that is a great boost for me.

“The organisers are planning to form an eight-team league from next year and we are playing well to make this league a success,” said Tejaswini, who leads Storm Queens.

Ace Indian raider Usha said WKC is a great opportunity for youngsters to make it to the national side. “Many reputed coaches of the country are involved in training us and it is a good chance for youngsters to play well and impress them,” said Usha.

The WKC has helped women to enjoy a share of the limelight, feels Mamatha. “Many coaches of the PKL teams come and give us inputs. It adds to our confidence and we are excited be a part of the league in the future,” she said.