British Army's Kabaddi team captivates Punjabis

Jalandhar, Nov 30: The premier attraction at the recently held Mata Chanan Kaur Punjab Sports Championship at Parasrampur near Jalandhar was the British Army Kabaddi team.

The team received great ovation as they entered the ground at Parasrampur during the rural sports event which is gaining popularity every year. This year the championship entered its 21st year.

It was a bolt from the blue, when the parade of rural sportsmen, led by folk artists was joined by the British Kabaddi team.

The championship is being sponsored by Harjinder Singh Dhanoa of United Kingdom, who had made sure that it had no shortage of resources. The budget this year was around 125,000 US dollars.

“The government was keen to mutually organize the championship but we haven’t responded to them. With god’s grace, we have sufficient funds to hold the competition. But if the Punjab government wants to join hands with us, we have the ability to even organise the Asian Games, the Commonwealth Games and the Olympics in Punjab. We don’t call for assistance of any outsider,” said Dhanoa.

In a jam-packed village stadium, hundreds of sportsmen displayed their skills in volleyball, weightlifting, athletics as well as traditional dog and bullock cart races.
The piece de resistance of the championship was the crowd pulling Kabaddi open event where top eight teams from all over the country have participated.
“Kabaddi is the amalgamation of all sports - football, athletics and gymnastics. The game imbibes features of all sports and is tough to play. The sport is not internationally acclaimed as yet, which needs to be. Its endorsement will help younger players get jobs,” said Balbeer Singh Bittu, a Kabaddi player, Punjab.

The British team members, trained by former national Kabaddi coach, Ashok Das have been playing matches in Britain too.

“I am enjoying a lot. I think, it’s the best game I have ever played. In fact, I enjoyed the contact sport. I love rugby but Kabaddi is more tactics,” said Scop Brown, a Kabaddi player, British Army team.

Ashok Dass, a member of the England Kabaddi Association said, “We formed the England Kabaddi Association chaired by Harjinder Dhanoa. I am the president of the association. We are in process to form European Amateur Kabaddi Federation to popularize the contact sport.” (ANI)