The Future Kabaddi Heroes (FKH) programme, a landmark initiative to foster grassroot level Kabaddi and unearth local talent in India received a great response with 150 aspirants participating at the two-day trials held in Bengaluru. The players were tested on their Kabaddi skills and fitness. The expert panel, led by Rambir Khokhar, Coach for Haryana Steelers for VIVO Pro Kabaddi Season V and Manpreet Singh, Coach for Gujarat Fortunegiants for VIVO Pro Kabaddi Season V, had some tough decisions to make as Kabaddi enthusiasts from all over Karnataka showcased their skills in their bid to make it through to the VIVO Pro Kabaddi Season VI auction pool. 

Mashal Sports, the organisers of VIVO Pro Kabaddi League and AKFI jointly announced the Future Kabaddi Heroes (FKH) programme, a comprehensive three-stage talent scouting and development initiative to foster and nurture future Kabaddi champions. Lucknow is the next destination for the panel to unearth Kabaddi talent. 

Commenting on the talent witnessed on ground Rambir Khokhar, Coach for Haryana Steelers for VIVO Pro Kabaddi Season V, said, “At the Future Kabaddi Heroes programme in Bengaluru, we witnessed some exceptionally talented Kabaddi players. There were players who travelled from across Karnataka for the trials. It was overwhelming to see players with such great talent showcase their skills. Looking at the youngsters and the response, our faith in the future of Kabaddi is only getting stronger and this platform is going to boost the entire ecosystem for the sport. We are hoping that Lucknow will demonstrate equally good talent.” 

Shrikanth M, Secretary, Karnataka Rajya Amateur Kabaddi Association said- I believe that the Future Kabaddi Heroes programme is an ideal platform for aspiring Kabaddi players to showcase their skills. We are particularly happy that Kabaddi as a sport is gaining importance in Karnataka owing to local tournaments and of course VIVO Pro Kabaddi League. A few promising players have emerged after the rigorous two-day selection process.”

Initiated last year as a pathway to the auction pool in VIVO Pro Kabaddi Season 5, the Future Kabaddi Heroes (FKH) programme scouts promising young talent from thousands of aspirants from all over the country. Last year the scouting programme received an overwhelming response from over 4600 participants. Post a rigorous three-staged selection process, 133 players finally made it to the VIVO Pro Kabaddi 2017 auction pool. 

Following a rigorous shortlisting process, a total of over 200-220 players will be selected for Phase II post the 18 city trials. Out of those, exceptional 80-100 players will be chosen for Phase III for a month long intensive training camp and subsequently be drafted in the player auction pool of VIVO Pro Kabaddi Season 6 under the ‘New Young Players’ category. The camp follows an approach developed in consultation with renowned coaches and experts from the field of Kabaddi.