PHOTOS: Kabaddi gamers raid and cease in Surrey as the game takes root in native excessive faculties

The game of kabaddi is beginning to take root at Surrey-area excessive faculties, with eyes on a provincial prize at some point.

The all-Surrey spring league at the moment entails 5 groups representing Panorama Ridge, Tamanawis, Enver Creek, Queen Elizabeth and Khalsa College, with Panorama Ridge the two-time defending champion.

Raman Bedi, a instructor on the Newton faculty and co-coach of its kabaddi group, additionally serves as league president and co-ordinator of matches.

“There are robust roots on this sport, and lots of people are captivated with it,” Bedi mentioned Tuesday, Could 17, after his Thunder group beat Khalsa 46-24 on the grass at Panorama Ridge, after faculty was out for the day .

“That is why now we have so many individuals come out to look at, and that features college students, mother and father, grandparents and simply individuals who reside within the space. Having it within the faculties like this, there’s been a extremely quick ripple impact, with so many generations concerned.”

Well-liked in India and surrounding nations, kabaddi is a wrestling-like sport performed on a round discipline. A single participant on offense, referred to as a “raider,” runs into the opposite group’s half-court to tag an opponent, or be tagged, and should return to the middle line to attain a degree, with out being tackled and held by a “ stopper,” or pushed out of bounds. The opposing group then goes on offense, and the match continues in back-and-forth style till time’s up.

“One of many largest variations in our league is that we do not permit contact over the shoulders, except it is unintentional,” Bedi famous. “It is for participant security, as a result of they’re college students.

“We have now a restrict of 15 group members, and what number of stoppers they’ve and what number of raiders, that is as much as them,” he added.

At Panorama Ridge, the kabaddi group has attracted some top-level wrestlers and different athletes, some from outdoors the Punjabi group.

The game checks gamers’ psychological and bodily talents, says Bedi, who co-coaches the Thunder with Lakha Gazipuria, whom he calls “Wayne Gretzky” of kabaddi.

“For anybody who’s an athlete and likes competitors, it is a good sport,” Bedi defined. “We have now a stopper on our group, Marcell Manu, who’s by no means performed kabaddi earlier than, he is only a pure athlete. He is basketball participant, good volleyball participant, and he is fast and robust, which makes him good right here.”

5 years in the past the highschool kabaddi league began with 4 groups, then expanded to eight earlier than the pandemic shut down the whole lot. This spring, there are 5 groups.

“I am certain momentum goes to choose up once more, and hopefully we see groups in different faculties, different areas,” mentioned Bedi, who credit Mandeep Dhaliwal for work to get the varsity kabaddi league began in 2017.

“It was a course of to get this going and making it a acknowledged and ruled sport by way of each the SSSAA (Surrey Secondary Faculties Athletic Affiliation) and South Fraser Athletics Affiliation,” Bedi mentioned. “A number of of us (academics) performed supporting casts to Mandeep, who advocated and spent numerous hours getting this going.”

Bedi says the league could not run with out referees together with Makhan Pandal (former government member and present official for kabaddi associations of Canada and Australia), Pola Sahota (two-time Canadian champ, additionally led Tamanawis wrestling group to a few provincial titles, as coach ) and Harjot Decide (former Tamanawis pupil and participant).

In the end, one purpose is for groups throughout BC to play for a provincial highschool kabaddi championship.

Till then, the motion this spring will embody a Championship Day for the Surrey league on Friday, June 3, with a number of matches scheduled at Panorama Ridge.

“It will begin at 10:30 am that day,” Bedi defined, “and we’ll have all of the groups within the league right here, so even when they lose a match they will keep and benefit from the different matches. That means, the entire group comes collectively.”

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