Dabang Delhi K.C. may be out of the reckoning for the Super play offs after a dismal display in their home leg but they will still look to score a few upsets in their remaining games in order to salvage some pride for their side. Many of their main players were stricken with injuries mid-way through their campaign which affected the side’s morale but one man who held the team together through these tough situations was Rohit Baliyan. In an exclusive interview with prokabaddi.com, the raider opened up about his early life, the challenges he had to face besides discussing how kabaddi has become more accessible to the youth of today. Some excerpts from the interview are here.

Tell us how kabaddi started for you.

In my village a lot of people are into kabaddi and there have been some national kabaddi players from there as well. I used to watch them return after playing for India which used to motivate me. That is how my interest in the sport took root. My family didn’t support me initially because they wanted me to focus on studying and doing well academically. But I was in love with kabaddi and I had to pursue it regardless of what anyone else said.

I wasn’t a part of Pro Kabaddi in the first season. But that did not deter me. I played my first senior national and national after that. From there I got a trial chance from the Telugu Titans team and got selected there.

How do your parents react to your decision now?

They are supporting me a lot now and after playing nationals my game has improved. I think once I played nationals they started coming around. After watching me on TV, they are very proud of me. Now my father is known in the village as Rohit Baliyan’s father which makes him very happy.

Any memorable moment from your kabaddi journey...

I think my first junior national which I played is the most memorable moment for me because that tournament changed everything in my life.

Do you have any advice for young raiders?

I just want to tell them to focus on their fitness and work hard. Previously [Before VIVO Pro Kabaddi] you couldn’t watch kabaddi matches on TV but now you have that option available. They can also watch videos of their favourite players online and learn various techniques just by observation.

Do you have an idol in this game?

I follow Anup Kumar and Manjeet Chhillar.

Any message for your fans...

I just want to tell them that support us as much as you can. Our team has many young players and every player of the team has been playing his role well.