Tamil Thalaivas to reach 1 lakh students through Children’s Kabaddi Challenge

Tamil Thalaivas' Children’s Kabaddi Challenge will see students across eight cities and 200 schools in the southern state participate in the competition.

Tamil Thalaivas players D. Gopu and K. Jayaseelan and film stars Andrea Jeremiah and Vishnu Vishal at the unveiling of the Children’s Kabaddi Challenge trophy on Thursday.   -  Special Arrangement

In a bid to increase Kabaddi's reach across the state, Pro Kabaddi League’s Tamil Nadu franchise Tamil Thalaivas will be conducting a Children’s Kabaddi Challenge, which will see students across eight cities in the southern state take part. School teams from Chennai, Madurai, Coimbatore, Salem, Thiruvallur, Thanjavur, Tirunelveli and Pondicherry will participate in the competition, which will take place in knock-out format between August and September.

In a press conference held for the unveiling the trophy of Children’s Kabaddi Challenge alongside the Corporate Kabaddi Fest, Tamil Thalaivas CEO Viren D’Silva spoke about the franchise’s initiative to reach out to local talent through the sport.

“Across the eight cities in the state, we will be having 12 girl schools and 12 boys schools from each of the cities. That will be 200 schools that we will be reaching out to and 1 lakh students. The final matches will be held from September 7-9,” he said.

Tamil Nadu’s association with kabaddi has produced the likes of K. Prapanjan and Dharmaraj Cherlathan, the latter was part of the Indian team that won the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup.

Aspiring to make his mark on the big stage is 20-year old raider K. Jayaseelan, who was bought by the Thalaivas Rs. 12 lakh in the PKL auction. “I am very happy to be with the team. The aim is to play for the team and make it to the final,” Jayaseelan told Sportstar.

The young raider is raring to play for the Thalaivas, which boasts the likes of Ajay Thakur and Anil Kumar in its ranks. Speaking about his individual training ahead of the Thalaivas' preparatory camp, Jayaseelan said, “The camp starts on August 1. I am training three hours in the morning, two hours in the afternoon and three hours in the evening.”

Tamil Thalaivas' K. Jayaseelan and D. Gopu will be eager to perform in the upcoming edition of the Pro Kabaddi League.   -  Special Arrangement


“We wanted him to be a part of our team last year itself, captain Ajay Thakur looked at him at a local event and said ‘I want him to be in our team’. But by that time, the auction was over, so this time we got him on board,” D’Silva said about Jayaseelan.

The team will look to better its performance in its second PKL season after finishing bottom of the Zone-B last season. Experienced defender D. Gopu is looking forward to the new season under new coach Edachery Bhaskaran.

“Bhaskaran is a good coach. I know he coached the EME Bhopal team and made it a top team. I’m sure he’ll do the same with Tamil Thalaivas. We haven’t met the coach and the captain (Ajay Thakur) yet. The captain will join us for the second camp after he’s done with the Asian Games. The first one is for a month after which we’ll have a five-day rest. Then, the second camp will start. We’ve been told that the camp will be held in Chennai,” Gopu said.

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