Kabaddi coaches, it seems, will finally have their day in the sun after the runaway success of the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) opened doors to international opportunities.
The success of the third edition of the domestic kabaddi league — styled around the popular Indian Premier League T20 cricket tournament — has turned the tide for the ancient sport, and the Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India and the International Kabaddi Federation have been receiving inquiries from countries around the globe about the availability of Indian coaches to popularise the sport in their countries.
“We have come up with a list of coaches after this overwhelming response. They will be trained in such a way that none of them gets stuck in a foreign country. We will hold a refreshers’ course for them next month,” AKFI assistant secretary Deoraj Chaturvedi told HT.
Inquiries have so far come from Poland and Denmark, and even Kenya is looking for a coach. The most recent country to approach the administrative bodies was Argentina. This rise in demand has forced the federation to draw up a pool of 40 coaches who will be put through a month-long training programme and also made proficient in English and computer skills for prospective overseas employment.
“Those selected will be sent to Poland, Denmark and Argentina…,” Chaturvedi said.
This is not the first time Indian coaches have been called to train kabaddi teams and coaches abroad.
Last year, former Sports Authority of India coach Rambir Singh Khokhar spent 45 days training Iranian coaches. Another coach, Jagmohan, is presently in Bangladesh, while women’s coach Elpes Rani too has had a stint abroad.
“It was a very good experience, (I) felt very important there,” Khokhar said about his stay in Iran. “I trained them but I was only contracted to get their coaches up to scratch.”
Interestingly, however, Khokhar said a few coaches were not happy with the recent spike in interest in the sport. “They think we might lose our grip on the sport if other countries learn our trade,” he said.