Sports! The word itself is an emotion. I’m very sure your mind has portrayed the days you’ve played your favorite game or a wonderful sports day in your school as soon as you read that word. Now smile if it’s true, it is because you truly love sports, and you don’t just play a game, you live the moment! What is the craziest thing about sports? It brings people together. Remember any tournament/match of any game, the players compete fiercely against each other, their belief that defeat is not the end of everything, crowds cheering with hopes and joy, people sitting upright in front of their TV screens with fingers crossed, all celebrations after a good win in a game and what not! And in India, sports are indeed a festival of one kind.

Sports is formally defined as an activity that requires physical and mental strengths in which a team or an individual competes that also has some set of predetermined rules. It has a deep-rooted history with many pieces of evidence found in India and other countries, pointing to the fact that sports were a part of the life of the people in ancient times. Talking about India, during the Ramayana and Mahabharat era, people competed in archery, horsemanship, wrestling, weightlifting, swimming, and hunting. Also, chess originated in India and was invented by the Gupta Dynasty. Such is India, with a glorious culture in every sector! Also, many pieces of evidence have been found in other parts of the world, which point towards the ancient people engaged in sports. Right from sports being a symbol of leisure, to it getting professional touch, we have come a long way. In this modern age, people have now started considering ‘sports’ as a very prospering career. Playing casually, actually getting into coaching, pursuing it as a full-time profession, and succeeding in it. How inspiring is that!


Kabaddi is another sport, which has everyone’s heart. The origin of which can be traced back to Mahabharata, Arjuna’s war skills are believed to be matching with the strategies with which this game is played. And… it is the epitome of teamwork. Kabaddi was recognized as a national game in India back in 1918, the popularity of which has grown year by year. The game demands immense physical strength, planning abilities, breathing control, and most importantly, you need to be a team player. Two teams, with seven players on both sides, compete against each other. The goal for the attacker from the team is to charge into the opponent team’s side (half of the court) and try to touch as many possible players without getting caught by the other players. If the attacker returns to its side without getting caught, the opponent players he has touched are declared out of the game. And the challenging part for the attacker? The attacker has to continuously chant ‘Kabaddi’ ‘Kabaddi’ till he/she comes back to his/her side. In 1983, a bonus line was included, which the attacker must cross when on the opponent’s side to score points. This is the basic framework of the game.

From the All-India Kabaddi tournament organized in 1923, the launch of Kabaddi in the 1938 Calcutta Olympics, the introduction of the Kabaddi Cup Federation in 1981 to Maharashtra hoisting and winning the Kabaddi World Cup in 2004, the sport has come a long way. The Vivo Pro Kabaddi League introduced in 2014, has gained immense popularity with seven successful seasons. The first Asian Women Championship was held in Hyderabad in 2005, which resulted in India winning the gold. A transition from the muddy ground game to playing on mats happened during the Malaysia Open in 2002. Not only international games, but state and national ones have also adopted the change.

I am not a Kabaddi player. I have never played it in my entire life. To be honest, I would have told you I don’t like the game if you had asked me a few months back. But I started to admire it back then till today. Why the change? Because I took a closer look at the game and found it to be wholesome. You need a lot of strength, to attack, to defend yourself, to chant endlessly. Plus, you need to be good at strategy, how to attack, how to defend, plan all the moves, do the needful in unforeseen situations. It’s an equal blend of your physical and mental abilities.

So is life…

I love how we could relate the game to our lives. We win in life if we are balanced in all aspects, we could function on our own and with others too, we have to try our level best to achieve our goals, trying to avoid all the obstacles trying to prevent us from getting what we want.

I still don’t play it myself, but I immensely enjoy watching it on television. Many sports viewers in India had their eyes glued to cricket and football games. Now, the world has seen a massive shift of viewers to Kabaddi! Not only adults, but kids love it too! Indeed, sport is a magic thing! You enjoy by heart, being a player and a spectator. The game is so energizing, the energy is so contagious. So, in any game and life, if you fight for it, you’ll win it!

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