In a major boost to women’s sports the fourth season of the much-in-news Pro Kabaddi League will include women’s matches as well. As per the schedule, the league goes on for four days, in the first three days two men’s kabaddi matches are held and now for the first time the last day will witness a women’s match. It’s an initiative by the Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India (AKFI) in association with Mashal Sports that in a first, a mini-league has been set in place for women’s kabaddi.
If you know very little about our women kabaddi team, well, we are here to bring you some facts:
- The Indian Women’s Kabaddi team has won all the World Cups (2012, 2013, and 2014) till date and has remained undefeated.
- Kabaddi is the only sport played in all the three versions of the Asian Games –Asian Games, Asian Indoor Games and Asian Beach Games. Women’s kabaddi came into spotlight at the Guangzhou Asian Games in 2010. Our women’s players clinched gold both the times they took part in the Asian Games – in 2010 and 2014. They also won the South Asian Games in 2010, beating Bangladesh to the top spot.
- The Indian Women’s Kabaddi team comprises of Captain Mamtha Poojari, Vice-Captain Henry Joseph and the other players are Suvarna Baratake, Priyanka Negi, Priyanka, Pramila, Kavita Devi, Abhilasha Mahatre, Rashmi Sahu, Krishna, R Naglaxmi and Vindhyavashini Sinha.
- Kabaddi Queen and Captain Mamtha Poojari hails from a village near Udupi in Karnataka. Poojari’s family initially was sceptical of her passion for the game, but today the Arjuna Award winner is respected in the whole village.
- Every player in the women’s squad’s has won several accolades and they have already proved themselves in the international arena.
- Three teams that have been finalized for the pro-kabaddi league are—Fire Birds captained by Poojari, Ice Divas captained by Abhilasha Mhatre and Storm Queens captained by Tejeswini Bai.
- The teams will play the seven-match league which began on Tuesday at the National Sports Club of India in Mumbai, with the finals which will be held alongside the men’s on 31 July in Hyderabad.
- The idea to launch a women’s league germinated almost two years ago with the Star Sports team attending national as well as local tournaments across India to scout and spot talent.
- The players even went on to zumba classes to gain confidence. The organizers set them up in a bonding events over a dance off. The players were also put through camera training and mock interviews.
We hope the women’s team outing is a resounding success and people tune in to watch them. The next step then of course would be a full-fledged kabaddi league for women!
Feature Image Credit: 3bp.blogspot