While watching Dabang Delhi K.C.’s matches in VIVO Pro Kabaddi Season 6 one cannot miss the steadfast Joginder Narwal egging his teammates on throughout the game with both, gentle guidance and a firm-handed approach.
There is a sense of brotherhood that Narwal brings to the team, which has seen them come together well as a unit this season and mount some strong performances. That brotherly feeling is not something new for Narwal, though, as he has pretty much grown up with that feeling when it comes to the game of kabaddi.
During his formative years, Narwal’s brother had a big influence on him taking up the sport of kabaddi and ensuring he excelled at the sport.
“The reason I started playing kabaddi was that my brother led me towards it,” Narwal narrated proudly in an exclusive interview with prokabaddi.com.
His elder brother was a veteran who was a part of the 1994 Asian Games gold-winning Indian kabaddi team and his exploits in the game eventually led to him getting a job and ensuring a regular income for the family. Seeing what the sport can do for a dedicated player, he prompted Joginder to follow in his footsteps.
“My brother motivated and pushed me to play kabaddi. I have always looked up to my brother since I was a child. So when he pushed me towards kabaddi I never questioned him. He constantly motivated me to perform better and that inspired me a lot. Eventually, even I was driven to play kabaddi at the highest level,” Narwal declares.
His brother’s mentorship is something Narwal has carried with him throughout his journey in kabaddi. He treats all his fellow players like one would treat their brother, especially the younger players who are new to rigours of playing the sport at a professional level. Narwal personally takes care that they feel at home and don’t have too much to worry about off the mat.
From one brother to another
He recalls one such story from a national camp in Aurangabad where a young kid from Himachal Pradesh showed up with Anup Kumar.
“We were intrigued how someone so young managed to make it all the way to the national camp,” says Narwal with a smile.
His brotherly instinct kicked in and he took this shy kid under his wing, ensuring he felt comfortable in the new environment.
“All 35 of us treated that kid with more affection than even a parent gives,” he recollects.
The kid’s name? Ajay Thakur, the current captain of the Indian national kabaddi team.
Narwal still treats Thakur as his younger brother and speaks of him with the same feeling.
“It fills me with pride to see how far he has reached. He’s like a younger brother to me and to see him do so well makes me extremely proud and happy,” Narwal adds.
The current scenario has a number of players from different states, regions and even countries playing together in VIVO Pro Kabaddi. Though their cultures may be different, the bond they share as a team and their love for the sport of kabaddi brings them together. For Narwal, there is more that unites the team as one big family than there are subtle differences that divide them as individuals.
“We all live together, travel together and play together. There is a sense of brotherhood among all of us. We tend to the injured players like we would to a family member because I believe we are indeed a family,” concluded the big-hearted Narwal.