The KBD Juniors initiative launched ahead of Season 5 of VIVO Pro Kabaddi has received a tremendous reception thus far. It is an initiative undertaken in the form of a kabaddi tournament between top schools of the 12 franchise cities in the hope that the kids pick up the game early and soon start looking at it with a professional interest.
The tournament aims at creating a younger audience base after immersing the youngsters into the experience itself by offering them the opportunity of playing in the same stadium as the Pro Kabaddi stars they watch on television on a smaller mat laid over the existent one. The matches are 10 minutes long with 20-second raid intervals, making for exciting and engaging full throttle action.
The fact that there are no empty raids allowed only adds to the drama resulting in high-scoring games. A total of 8 schools take part with 10-12 representatives in the age group of 11-12. The winner is decided through a simple quarter-finals, semi-finals and final knockout format, making it a total of seven matches in each city.
The Hyderabad leg witnessed P. Obul Reddy Public School emerge victors, while Bengaluru Bulls’ home leg in Nagpur saw Centre Public School (CPS) Wardhaman Nagar beat Central Indian Public School 29-15. "This is for the first time my kids participated in competitive kabaddi matches. We do play during our in-house event but do not participate in inter-school championships. During Pro Kabaddi, students enjoyed a lot and are ready to practise regularly… Pro Kabaddi has surely revived kabaddi," CPS coach and university-level kabaddi player Nitesh Kamble told the Times of India recently.
Rachana School won against Udgam School for Children 27-13 in the Ahmedabad leg and the recently concluded Lucknow leg saw Lucknow Public School defeat Kendriya Vidyalaya 22-11.