Image Credits: FISTO STAFF
Kabaddi, as fast-paced as it is, is always a treat to watch. The raids and tackles executed with perfection pump audiences with such adrenaline as can be claimed only by a few other sports.
Despite being a new team since its inception of the sport last year, the team is stacked with agile, attack-minded, and competitive players. We sat down with few of the players to talk about their journey, memories in Jeppiaar Engg. College and silverware hopes.
'Play many tournaments in secret without telling my parents'
Rama Sundar, a fervent lover of kabaddi, hails from Krishnapuram, Virudhunagar district, firmly believes that it is the dedication to the sport that helps him maintain his usual sang-froid through all the practice sessions. Sundar was a student of the T.N.P.M.N Higher Secondary School and has been playing kabaddi since the 8th grade. But it was only after 10th standard when his team broke the 20-year jinx of playing in the state level championships, he took the sport seriously and then there has been no looking back.
"During my formative years, I used to play many kabaddi tournaments in secret without telling my parents"
Apart from playing a lot of state and district level competitions, he has been selected for the nationals two times. He is committed to the sport and somehow manages to squeeze it into his schedule. “During my formative years, I used to play many kabaddi tournaments in secret without telling my parents as they wanted me to focus more on my studies. But as the time went, the let me play the sport.”
'Concentrating on stamina and strength'
Dhoni Raj, a fan of Anup Kumar, began to play the sport at the age of 12 and quickly found out he had a talent for it.
“Since I was a kid I wanted to be a professional kabaddi player. I realised around the age of 10 that kabaddi was a sport that I loved playing and I have been involved with it ever since,” he said.
Dhoni says that the team consists a majority of 2nd and 3rd years, who are currently being coached by Nivas Chellathurai. The coach has been training the team for two years, with his efforts leading to a gold in Anna University Sports Fest ’17. The team undergoes rigorous training for 1 hour in the morning before classes followed by an evening practice which lasts 2 hours every day for the past two months, to perfect their game.
Just another day, the boys sweating it out at an evening practice session.
Practice for the team also involves training the moves against their teammates, “In Kabaddi, stamina is very important. Every morning, we have our fitness sessions concentrating on strength conditioning. Every evening, we have game practice.” When asked about the expected competition this year, the team said, ‘The competition has always been quite intense, but this time with more colleges coming, it’s going to get even more competitive’. Despite a good showing last Saveetha Trophy inter-collegiate Tourney, the kabaddi team were finished third they participated, suggesting that they want to clinch the first place this year. On being asked on what motivates him to continue devoting his time to the game, he replied that it is his love for the game and the desire to become better at it. ‘I didn’t come here to be mediocre.’
The first sweet memorable win
Another senior player of the team, K Mohan, comes from a family of kabaddi players. His father was a national level kabaddi player. During his formative years, Mohan’s father had a big influence on him taking up the sport of Kabaddi and ensuring he excelled at the sport. “My journey with Kabaddi started with my father’s passion for the sport. He would go to the local tournaments with his friends on weekends and play kabaddi. It was then when I started watching his game and began to admire the sport. So once I asked him if I could join him for a game and that’s how it all started for me,” narrates Mohan.
'The college has supported our passion, to play kabaddi by providing all the requirements..'
“I was blessed to have an extremely supportive environment in Jeppiaar Engg. College. My parents always encouraged me to chase my dreams even though knowing that I wasted one year after finishing my school. But college is the first time that I have been part of a professional team and it has taught me a lot about team spirit, sportsmanship spirit, and the grit involved in playing a match. I have found many people I look up to and feel inspired by, both on the kabaddi court and out of it,” he added.
On being asked on what was the best match they have ever played, all the three replies the team’s first ever win against St.Joseph Engineering College in the last year University Zone Tournament.
‘They were a tough side to beat, but we came out as winners 32-26.’
The players also said that their game level of kabaddi has vastly improved since joining the college, “There has been a huge change in terms of how our playing style evolved over the years. The college has supported our passion, to play kabaddi by providing all the requirements, kit and facilities-the ground and a good coach, … for the sport. What more could you ask for?” Finally, when asked about who will win Pro Kabaddi the title, all the three replied ‘U-Mumba.’
Have Something worth offering to? Advertise with us. Email: email@example.com [widget id="fbw_id-2"]