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 295 aspirants participating at the two-day trials held in Nagpur. The players were tested on their Kabaddi skills and fitness. The expert panel, led by Jaivir Sharma, Coach, Sports Authority of India and Srinivas Reddy, VIVO Pro Kabaddi League Season V Assistant coach, Haryana Steelers, had some tough decisions to make as Kabaddi enthusiasts from all over Nagpur showcased their skills in their bid to make it through to the VIVO Pro Kabaddi Season 6 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. Post Maharashtra, the selection panel will move to the north of India starting with Chandigarh, to unearth Kabaddi talent.

Commenting on the talent witnessed, Srinivas Reddy, VIVO Pro Kabaddi League Season V Assistant coach, Haryana Steelers said, “At the Future Kabaddi Heroes programme in Nagpur we witnessed some exceptionally talented Kabaddi players. Through the same programme last year, Nagpur gave us two young players who played in VIVO Pro Kabaddi League Season V. Over the last two days, we have witnessed participation all the way from Yavatmal and other Vidarbha regions. It has been an overwhelming experience shortlisting talent in Nagpur and we are positive that many stand a chance to make it big in professional Kabaddi.”

Jitendra Thakur, General Secretary, Amateur Kabaddi Association of Vidarbha said, “I believe that the Future Kabaddi Heroes programme is an ideal platform for aspiring Kabaddi players to showcase their skills. Nagpur, especially Vidarbha, is deeply connected with the sport of Kabaddi given its history and we are glad that some promising players have emerged after our 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.