The Future Kabaddi Heroes (FKH) programme, a landmark initiative to scout talent across India, received a very enthusiastic response in Ahmedabad where the trials were held for the first time. The city was host to the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup and the home city for Gujarat FortuneGiants in VIVO Pro Kabaddi Season V. The expert panel, led by Jaivir Sharma, Coach, Sports Authority of India and Sanjeev Baliyan, Arjuna Awardee had some tough decisions to make as Kabaddi players across Gujarat, showcased their skills and determination, in their bid to make it through to the VIVO Pro Kabaddi League 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 identify and nurture future Kabaddi champions. Jaipur, in Rajasthan is the next destination for the panel to unearth Kabaddi talent.

Commenting on the talent witnessed on ground, Jaivir Sharma, Coach, Sports Authority of India said, “The sport of Kabaadi is not new for Ahmedabad and the Future Kabaddi heroes programme was warmly embraced by young Kabaddi aspirants in Gujarat. Over the past two days, we witnessed some exceptionally talented Kabaddi players in Ahmedabad, some of whom had travelled a great distance to participate in the trials.

Dinesh Patel, General Secretary, AKFI said- We are particularly happy that Kabaddi as a sport has gained the importance it has here. Ahmedabad as a city, is very pro-sport and after Gujarat FortuneGiants chose it as its home city in VIVO Prokabaddi season V, there has been a surge in the number of Kabaddi aspirants in the region. The trials have been great for young aspiring players in the region and we hope that such initiatives and opportunities continue to drive young players towards playing Kabaddi professionally.”

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 Season V 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.