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Kabaddi cradle for budding talents

- Twenty players will be chosen and trained to represent state

Elated over the response to matches held at Patliputra Sports Complex, the Bihar Kabaddi Federation has decided to set up a centre of excellence for promotion of the sport.

The centre would help nurture budding kabaddi players in the state and national-level coaches would be roped in to train the young sportsmen. The federation would also start a trial run to select budding players from different parts of the state. The chosen ones would then be groomed and trained to represent the state and the country subsequently.

Sharing details, the Bihar Kabaddi Federation secretary, Kumar Vijay, on Sunday said: “Twenty kabaddi players from the state would receive training at the centre and they would be provided free food and lodging.”

The Sports Authority of India (SAI) at Rajendra Nagar would the likely venue for the centre and a final call would be taken soon on deciding the training unit.

The federation secretary added that the idea behind organising the centre of excellence was to promote kabaddi and nurture the budding players.

In the past few years, kabaddi has become very popular after the state government hosted several tournaments, including the Pro Kabaddi tournament in which the home team Patna Pirates performed well. At present, the team stands fourth in the rankings. Though Patna Pirates has only one player from Bihar, it received good support from spectators.

Apart from setting up the centre of excellence, the Bihar Kabaddi Federation would also stake claim to host the sub-junior national kabaddi tournament scheduled in the first week of November. Under-16 players take part in the sub-junior national kabaddi tournament. Vijay said: “The national sub-junior tournament would be held in two categories — boys and girls. In both events, Bihar would take part.”

Prior to the sub-junior kabaddi tournament, the Bihar Kabaddi Federation had successfully hosted the 61st senior National Kabaddi Championship (men and women) at the Patliputra Sports Complex from January 21 to 24 last year.

Welcoming the decision, Anil Kumar, a budding player, said: “It is good that the state government has planned to promote kabaddi but the government should also look to provide employment opportunities for players who excel in national-level tournaments.”