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ASA’s Rural Kabaddi Festival 2019 to engage communities

Author: Ernest Abhishek

ASA’s Rural Kabaddi Festival 2019 to engage communities

Anantapur Sports Academy (ASA) is organising one of the biggest rural kabaddi festivals in India aiming to develop a sporting culture and promote the indigenous sport.

Originated in the ancient Tamil region of the Indian subcontinent, the sport of Kabaddi is indigenous to India. Anantapur Sports Academy, a sport for development initiative which started two decades ago is using this indigenous contact sport to develop a sporting culture and conduct awareness programmes in rural Anantapur. 

Anantapur Sports Academy (ASA) believes in the potential of sport to bring communities together, particularly those among the underprivileged, and this laid the foundation for organising sports festivals. ASA started with the maiden “Rural Kabaddi Festival” in the early 1980s and kabaddi was chosen as it is an indigenous sport in India and was popular with the masses, particularly in the rural regions covering a diverse demographic.

Encouraging the same sport in 2019 though the "Rural Kabaddi Festival 2019" ASA is reaching out to 5,532 children divided into 461 teams (265 boys teams, 196 girls teams) from 461 schools spread across 8 regions of Andhra Pradesh. The festival, which is divided into area level, regional level, and central level, started on 17 July will continue to 29 August 2019.

The Kabaddi Festival 2019 will engage a host of communities across Anantapur, Kurnool, and Chittoor districts covering children, youth and adults, as well as volunteers from different parts of the world. The festival was kick-started on with knockout matches in 38 areas. The winners in the area level will play a round-robin league in the regional level which will be held at Anantapur Sports Village. 

At the central level, ASA will hold another round-robin league followed by semi-finals and finals. As the festival engages children including girls and boys in large numbers, ASA is planning to use this festival as a platform to conduct awareness programmes on education, gender equality, and environmental conservation. 

Talking about the festival, Vamshi Origanti, the coordinator of the Rural Kabaddi Festival 2019 said, “The kind of support Rural Kabaddi Festival 2019 is receiving from the rural communities is very positive. Regardless of age and gender, everyone in the villages is gathering to watch and encourage the players during the matches, this shows that Kabaddi has its own place in the hearts of the people. This festival is an initiative to revive Kabaddi in rural India. We also planned to use this indigenous sport as a tool to spread awareness of the prevalent issues in rural communities to the younger generation”. 

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Wednesday, July 31, 2019 - 07:53