KARACHI: Women’s kabaddi has struck a chord with players from other sports, believes WAPDA captain Khazeema Saeed who guided her side to the inaugural title of the National Kabaddi Championship by defeating Army in the final.
“The tournament was a great success,” said Saeed. “Women’s kabaddi is gaining momentum and I only realised it after playing the final where many of my friends, who are into judo and archery, began asking us how to get into the kabaddi team.”
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Saeed was also impressed by the level of kabaddi on show in the three-day tournament.
“There is a lot of talent on show; Army and other teams played really well and this is just the beginning. Men’s kabaddi has been around for years, but women’s sport has made huge strides now,” said the 19-year-old.
Another player, Saba Naz hailed the idea of kabaddi for women in Pakistan.
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“Kabaddi is a very interesting sport; one has to be in top shape physically and possess a sharp mind as we need to strategise within seconds during the game,” said the 25-year-old. “I enjoy playing kabaddi a lot, mostly because it is more than just a traditional sport; it demands the players to give their best.”
Naz further added that the sport has also allowed women to carve their own careers with many of the young stars having been given jobs by their respective departments.
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Meanwhile, talking about how the Pakistan Kabaddi Federation (PKF) is aiming to groom players for the future, PKF Secretary Muhammad Sarwar said: “We want to establish academies for women in various districts, tehsils, and provinces; the national championship was an example of what women can achieve.”
He further added, “In order to encourage the players and boost their confidence, we are trying to get Iran to play some matches with the team next year.”
courtesy : express tribune