Future Kabaddi Heroes program to unearth Kabaddi Talent
The success of the VIVO Pro Kabaddi League in modern India portrays the spirit of confidence of the country in Kabaddi as a viable career avenue for aspiring talent. In line with this, Mashal Sports, the organisers of VIVO Pro Kabaddi League and AKFI jointly announced the Future Kabaddi Heroes (FKH) 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, starting with Mumbai on 26th February 2018, 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.
Talent identification and development has been a crucial agenda, given the potential witnessed from every corner of the country during the inaugural edition of the programme in 2017. 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 4600 participants. Post a rigorous three-staged selection process, 133players 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 AKFI and Kabaddi state federations. The new cities include Imphal, Thrissur, Bhubaneshwar, Ahmedabad and Patna. 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.”
Commenting on the programme, former Indian Captain and VIVO Pro Kabaddi star, Anup Kumar, said, “I personally see the Future Kabaddi Heroes programme as an ideal platform that will take young aspirants much closer to their dream of playing professional Kabaddi. In my time, I wish we had the support of a platform like FKH programme. It is an ideal opportunity for deserving candidates who lack access and the support system to demonstrate their potential and eventually have the chance to be recognized in the VIVO Pro Kabaddi League.”