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Bihar Women Kabaddi League: Empowering Local Talent with Unprecedented Opportunities

The Bihar State Sports Authority (BSSA) has launched the first-ever Bihar Women Kabaddi League, featuring six teams and aiming to provide local players with the opportunity to showcase and hone their skills in a competitive environment.
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Indian Masterminds Stories

Bihar has a rich legacy in the sports movement, with the Olympic movement originating here under the leadership of Moinul Haque, the then Secretary General of the Indian Olympics Association, and noted industrialist JRD Tata. However, following the partition with Jharkhand, much of the sports infrastructure was lost to the latter, creating a void in both platform and leadership. This gap forced many sports enthusiasts from Bihar to seek opportunities in other states. Despite these challenges, athletes from Bihar have continued to shine on various stages, from the National School Games and National Championships to the Asian Games.

In recent years, the face of sports in Bihar has been revolutionized under the leadership of IPS officer Mr. Raveendran Sankaran, the CEO of the Bihar State Sports Authority (BSSA) and ADG of the Bihar Military Police. His efforts have significantly transformed the sports landscape in the state.

Continuing with efforts to rebuild Bihar’s sports legacy, the Bihar State Sports Authority (BSSA) has launched the first-ever ‘Bihar Women’s Kabaddi League.’ Starting on June 10 and concluding on June 16, this event features six female teams competing for the title. But is this just another league, or is there more to it? Addressing this question, Mr. Raveendran Sankaran, CEO of BSSA, told Indian Masterminds, “We are not here to make a profit. Unlike other leagues, we didn’t auction our players. This league focuses entirely on allowing the players to play as many matches as possible.”

Mr. Raveendran Sankaran also highlighted that, in his more than two years of experience, he has realized Bihar is brimming with sports talent. Kabaddi, in particular, is very popular among children and students, with almost every 3-4 households in Bihar having a potential player capable of reaching the national level, only waiting for the right opportunity. The children often don’t get the chance to play enough matches, which is crucial for national competition. The Bihar Women Kabaddi League (BKWL) is a significant step in providing these players with the opportunity they need to showcase and hone their skills.

HOW THIS STARTED 

Six teams are participating in this inaugural Bihar Women Kabaddi League: Sitamarhi Sentinels, Patna Pelicans, Magadh Warriors, Nalanda Ninjas, Saran Strikers, and Siwan Titans. Forming these teams was not an overnight task. Mr. Raveendran explained that the Bihar Government initially became the title sponsor for the Patna Pirates team in the Pro Kabaddi League. This was the first step, and we wanted to create something similar for our state. So, we approached senior players and coaches to come and nurture our local talent.

In January this year, Indian women’s kabaddi coach and Dhyan Chand Awardee Ms. Kavitha Selvaraj visited the Patliputra Sports Complex to organize a camp for women’s kabaddi in Bihar. The camp saw impressive participation, with around 480 players attending. Even players recruited under the sports quota took part in this training session. After a week-long trial, Ms. Kavitha conducted a selection process and formed six well-balanced teams.

“She prepared a detailed list of essentials and requirements for each team, including the budget needed to play in the league. The total amount came to around 3.5 lakh rupees per team, covering their travel, food, accommodation, training, playing kits, and honorary fees for the coaches,” said Mr. Raveendran.

The coaches

Following this, Mr. Raveendran and his team sought sponsorship from government corporations for each team. The Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation and the Women Development Corporation stepped up, sponsoring two teams each. The remaining four teams secured sponsorship from private partners. Mr. Raveendran mentioned, “Due to the election period, we couldn’t reach out to more sponsors, but we received support from private entities who are passionate about sports and were happy to assist us.”

THE OUTCOME 

The event will conclude on June 16th, with the winning team receiving a cash prize of ₹1.5 lakh, while the first and second runners-up will receive ₹1 lakh and ₹75,000, respectively. However, the journey doesn’t end with the prize distribution. A talent scouting team will select the best-performing players to form two teams, which will travel to Tamil Nadu for further training under Ms. Kavitha. These teams will also participate in upcoming championships. “Our goal is big. We want our players to go national and then international. All our efforts are geared towards achieving that goal,” concluded Mr. Raveendran.


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