There have been a number of young players who have made a mark in their debut Pro Kabaddi season this time around with their speed and skills. Shubham Ashok Palkar has been one such bright spark for Dabang Delhi K.C. The 20-year-old was a part of the NYP (New Young Player) camp held in Mumbai with an aim to scout and promote young talent in the sport of Kabaddi. He was picked by the Delhi-based franchise and has since played eight matches for them, improving in confidence in each outing.

“I only have one target this season which is to perform my best for the team whenever I get the opportunity,” the youngster told recently. However, Palkar was a reluctant starter when it came to the game of kabaddi. “I used to watch my friends in school playing kabaddi and always felt like joining them. But I was also afraid that I might get injured, so I used to hold myself back,” continued Palkar, “Ultimately I gave in and decided to start playing kabaddi. My family was also supportive of my decision because of which I was able to get to this stage.”

The road to VIVO Pro Kabaddi for young Palkar, though, was long and he had to prove himself at every point. “There was a trial for Pro Kabaddi in Nagpur. I did well there and got selected for the next four-day trial in Gujarat after that. Once I cleared that, we had a camp in Mumbai with about 130 young players,” he said. In the end, however, it was all worth it believes Palkar because of the training he received at the camp. “I have never practised as hard as I did at the NYP camp ever in my life,” he said with a smile, “We used to practise three times a day with the world’s best coaches to guide us and teach us new skills. It was a once in a lifetime experience.”

Palkar shone through at the camp and was ultimately picked by Dabang Delhi K.C. in the NYP category. “My name was in the second list and I couldn’t believe I was selected the first time I heard. I had to confirm the news on the internet before it finally sank in. I was elated and my family was even happier,” he recollected.

Young Palkar also had some words of advice for other youngsters who aspire to be a part of the league. “Play with your heart,” he said, “If you want to make it big, it is necessary to practise day and night. Besides that, you need to focus on your diet and avoid injuries to the best of your ability.”