The mom's army from Canada is on the popularity march.
In spite of its dismal show in the ongoing kabaddi world cup, the women's team of Canada has earned a lot of fans and eyeballs for a curious reason. The 12-member team includes three mother-daughter pairs.
non-resident Indians (NRIs), the mothers, Narinder Kaur Gill (48), Lakhbir Kaur Khangoora (40); and Harpreet Kaur Randhawa (40), were part of the yesteryear's state women's kabaddi team in their college days. They brought their daughters, Navreet Gill (15); Gunvir Kaur Khangoora (16); and Navleen Kaur Randhawa (15), respectively, into the sport from soccer, just for this world cup hosted by the Punjab government.
Harpreet was also a former student of Narinder, when the latter taught physical education at the Lyallpur Khalsa College for Women in Jalandhar many years ago. Narinder represented Punjab in the 1994 national kabaddi championship. "It was the first time when a women's team from the state had played at that level," she said.
All six women live in the Canadian city of Brampton, and all three daughters play soccer in different sports academies over there. "I am a coach at a sports academy that my husband runs in Canada," said Narinder. "When we were asked to prepare a team for this big-ticket tournament, we didn't have enough players who could learn the game in just two months. That's how this combination."
The oldest player on the team, Narinder knows kabaddi too well to let age come in the way of her playing. Her team, however, is out of the tournament after losing to India and Denmark in the league phase.