The Future Kabaddi Heroes (FKH) programme, a landmark initiative to scout Kabaddi talent across India, in its second year travelled to Odisha for the first time.  The programme received a truly heartening response with several aspirants participating at the two-day trials. The expert panel, led by Ashan Kumar, Coach, Team India, 1998 Asian Games and Manpreet Singh, Coach, Gujarat Fortunegiants, VIVO Pro Kabaddi Season V, had some tough decisions to make as Kabaddi enthusiasts from all over the neighbouring states 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.

Commenting on the talent witnessed on ground, Manpreet Singh, Coach, Gujarat FortuneGiants, VIVO Pro Kabaddi Season V said, “We are delighted to be here at the Future Kabaddi Heroes Programme in Cuttack. This is the first time the programme has travelled to the city and the response has been extremely encouraging. The city has lived up to our expectation in terms of the response, level of talent and competition we have seen.”

A K Behra, Honorary Secretary, Odisha Kabaddi Association said“I believe that the Future Kabaddi Heroes programme is an ideal platform for aspiring Kabaddi players to showcase their skills. Odisha has always had a strong inclination for sport and the same is the case with Kabaddi. We are elated that the Future Kabaddi Heroes Programme has chosen Cuttack as one of the centres for trials. This goes a long way in encouraging young players to pursue a career in Kabaddi.”

Initiated last year as a pathway to the auction pool in VIVO Pro Kabaddi Season 5, the Future Kabaddi Heroes 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 VI under the ‘New Young Players’ category.

The camp follows an approach developed in consultation with renowned coaches and experts from the field of Kabaddi.