The shouts of players, group of spectators cheering and a crowd gathered to see a showpiece event. Yes, this is a common scene in villages throughout India. People say that sports have the power to bring everyone together. It teaches us team spirit, respect, discipline, hard work and dedication towards a goal. This can be clearly noticed in few instances in history: South Africa winning the Rugby world Cup, bringing the whole nation together after apartheid, Australian Peter Norman supporting Tommie Smith and John Carlos for a ‘human right salute’ in 1968 Olympics. In India, sports bring people from different backgrounds together to enjoy success, competition and our heroes.

Rise of Rural Sports In India

            India is a country where cricket is taken as a religion and people worship cricketers throughout the year. The fever of cricket remains because of busy schedules of cricket in the country. In this cricket-crazy nation, there are sports which are not in news that often. These sports remain in villages, small towns and to a selected group of people. Sports such as Kabaddi, wrestling, kho-kho and many more have been eye-catching events in rural areas from centuries. These sports have embedded themselves in the history and are taken as tradition in the country. Though not as internationally popular as Cricket, football or basketball, these sports have started gaining an audience all over world today.

            Few years back from now, one would have seen people playing Kabaddi in rural areas or even in some maidans in small towns. But today the situation seems to be totally different, with the start of Pro-Kabaddi League in India. The sport has started to gain popularity in different corners of the world. Names like Ajay Thakur, Anup Singh, Rahul Chaudhary and many more have become household names. It’s great to see the country following a sport such enthusiastically other than cricket. It has been a boon for the players and associations to play in front of such large crowd and gathering support from all, be it rich or poor.

            Sushil Kumar, two-time Olympic medallist with Phogat Sister from Bhiwani are an inspiration for budding sportsmen all over the nation. They are sure of India achieving great success in the sport of wrestling in years to come. All wrestlers are training hard to get India’s first Olympic gold medal in wrestling at Rio 2016 and have also planned to take the sport to everyone in the country, with the help of Wrestling Federation of India and their initiative of a Pro Wrestling league in coming November. This would really help budding wrestlers to gain international exposure as it is in case of Kabaddi League.

            These leagues not only brings new enthusiasm and entertainment in our homes, but also makes us feel closer to our tradition and culture in which these sports have thrived in past centuries. This has also brought a large support for sports which are overseen and are to be developed in India. This will help our youngsters to remain healthy and professionally bring laurels for the country, achieving success at Olympics and other international events.

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