An all-woman bunch of professional kabaddi players, including some national and State-level athletes, on Sunday organised a kabaddi tournament at Singhu border, the site of farmers’ protest.
Most of these players are from farmer families of Punjab and Haryana and they had converged at the site to express solidarity with the protesters.
A total of 12 teams participated in the tournament, which started around 11 a.m. The first match was organised between Sonipat and Fazilka and a team from Jind district in Haryana won the tournament.
Sukhwinder Singh (55), joint secretary of Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee, Punjab, from Tarn Taran district of Punjab said that the teams participated in the tournament on their own.
“Teams from different States came forward and said they wanted to organise a kabaddi tournament. We have planned to do different activities every day for the entertainment of people here at Singhu border,” Mr. Singh said.
The winning team will get ₹2,100 and the runner-up ₹1,100. The prizes have been announced by people who have donated the amount, he said.
“Most of the kabbadi players or wrestlers belong to farmers’ families. In villages, sports are mainly supported by farmers who keep organising tournaments. So, these people get to showcase their talent at the international level. It is now their turn to stand with the farmers,” said Kavita Kumari, a player.
Jagbir Singh from Jind district of Haryana, who was the head coach of the tournament, said that a majority of the players here are college students and they volunteered to participate. “Teams from Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi have participated in the tournament. They all have come here to support the farmers. There are also some national and international players who participated in the match,” he said.
Ritika Dalal, a second-year student, said, “I have played at State and national level from Delhi. The match was good. We could not, however, win it and make it to another round.”
The matches were played on the temporarily turf.
Narender Kumar, a kabaddi coach from Rohtak, said: “I received a message on Whatsapp yesterday [Saturday] regarding the matches. It was mentioned that only girls will play, following which I took my team of 10 girls, including my twin daughters, and reached here this morning. It is a knock-out tournament and you have to win each and every match. My team lost by two points but they performed really well.”