33 jockeys to come out of Kambala academy

Learning the ropes: Some of the youths who are getting trained by the Kambala Samrakshana Nirvahana Mattu Tarabethi Academy.   | Photo Credit: Raghava M.

Second year BCom student Rakshit Shetty was a regular at Kambalas — slush track buffaloe race — held in many parts of the coast along with his buffaloes since childhood. He is now among the 33 youngsters undergoing a 15-day training at Kadalakere in Moodbidri to realise the dream of becoming a Kambala jockey.

Similar is the dream of Ritesh, who recently passed Class X. “I got injured while running in a Kambala event last year and hence had opted out. “Shrinivas Gowda, the popular Kambala jockey, inspired me to undergo the training. I hope to get a chance to run this season [which starts in November],” he said.

The Kambala Samrakshana Nirvahana Mattu Tarabethi Academy has organised the fortnight-long training for 33 aspirants at Kadalakere in Moodbidri, the venue of annual Koti-Chennayya Kambala. The trainees are accommodated in a hall nearby. The training started on September 19 and it will end on October 4. The training was conducted at Miyar in Karkala taluk in the last five years.

Academy director and Kambala exponent Gunapal Kadamba said the academy began the training with an intention to bring in youths from farmers’ families into Kambala. Of the 200-odd applicants, 33, aged between 18 and 25, were selected after screening, he said.

Training coordinator John Cyril D’Souza alias Appanna said sessions start at 7 a.m. and go on till 8 p.m.

Apart from warm-up exercises, the trainees are trained in handling buffaloes and other native skills involved in Kambala races. Trainees are also exposed to running on synthetic tracks in Swaraj Maidan, Mr. D’Souza said.

Academy’s another director Seetaram Shetty said training is free while the academy spends about ₹35,000 on each trainee. The academy is using 42 ‘Kambala’ buffaloes offered by Kambala enthusiasts of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts for the training and spends around ₹4.5 lakh to take care of buffaloes.

Ajith Kumar Jain, a trainer and a former Kambala jockey, said the trainees need to work on the basic skills provided during training and make a mark in Kambla. “I worked for six years to be recognised as a jockey in Kambala events. Hope to see these young jockeys in the field at the earliest,” he said. As many as 60 people trained at the a cademy have made mark in Kambala events so far, he said.

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2021 3:15:39 PM |

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