Coach of the Kenyan kabaddi team as well as president of the Kenyan Kabaddi Federation, Laventa Aguta is hopeful that kabaddi will make it to the Olympics by 2024. The lady known as Miss Kabaddi back in Kenya spoke to the Times of India last month and seemed confident about kabaddi’s chances of making a return to the Olympics after its only previous appearance in the 1936 Berlin Games as a demonstration sport.
“When we come together and walk as a team, with the little resources that we have, we can achieve this Olympic dream. I feel that kabaddi will be there in the Olympics in 2024,” Aguta said.
Kenyan all-rounder David Shilisia J Mosambayi, who had previously played for Puneri Paltan, is now set to don the Haryana Steelers jersey in Season 5 of VIVO Pro Kabaddi. When asked about the impact Mosambayi’s involvement in Pro Kabaddi has made back home, Aguta said: “People are aware about the sport. They go to the YouTube to watch kabaddi. We're lucky that our player plays in Pro Kabaddi. This is a positive development, since it will motivate people back home to take up the sport.”
She continued: "He was the only non-Asian player in the league. Then, we played in the World Cup, which was telecast live back home. People are interested to know about this sport. We have a traditional game which is similar to kabaddi called echo which children are used to playing. So, they relate to that."
Aguta also spoke about the growing interest in the game from neighbouring countries and how they were planning on providing a platform for the game to develop in Africa. "Many countries are contacting me to start kabaddi there. For the first time, five African countries will demonstrate kabaddi at the All-African Games in Guinea," she said.