Kabaddi, one of the pristine games of India, is indeed amongst the most lively and energetic games that one can indulge in. A perfect blend of mental agility and physical swiftness, the offerings of the sport matches with the needs of the contemporary youth. However, despite an existence of more than 4000 years and presence of associations like Amateur Indian Kabaddi Federation and State Kabaddi Federations, the game seems to have lost its sheen.
Strategic planning based on an in-depth analysis of the game (shown in the figure below) is essential to bring it back and make it an integral part of Indian sports.
Proposed plan of action
Step 1: Set up a national body comprising of nominated members from all the zones of India, which would oversee the operations of the state agencies and act as a binding force. This development should be heavily publicized so that people get to know that Indian Kabaddi is undergoing a radical change.
Step 2: Prepare an agenda for the following 12 months including a concrete plan for Kabaddi Premier League (KPL) and the World Cup 2012. The tournaments like these must be hosted at multiple locations in different parts of the country (rather than restricting to one region say Punjab as happened in World Cup 2011). Condition of the existing infrastructure must be gauged and necessary repairing/development work should be undertaken with a regular maintenance check.
Inter-zonal matches would motivate the players, giving them an opportunity to showcase their talent and press for their candidature for KPL and the World Cup. Including players from different nationalities would add to the competitiveness of the game and make it more exciting.
Step 3: Rope in organizations like Mittal Foundation, BCCI, etc. which have shown keen interest in promotion of Indian Sports lately. Indian real-estate companies like Pearls Infrastructure and Omaxe Ltd. were main sponsors of the World Cup 2011. The existing support from these companies (monetary or otherwise) should be leveraged in the best interest of the game. Efforts should be made to associate corporates, celebrities and young politicians in order to add a glamour quotient to the sport.
Step 4: Kick start a promotional campaign aimed at reaching out to the masses. Theme based 15-20 second advertisements promoting Kabaddi as a “safe” sport, which improves muscular strength, stamina, endurance, concentration and mental agility, must be aired not only on national television but also on radio and vernacular media. A 15 day promotional camp could serve as precursor to the important tournaments and attract crowd. India’s No.1 ranking in International Kabaddi must be publicized through these campaigns.
Social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, etc. and online advertisements should be used as a marketing tool for the effective promotion of the game.
The game must be included in the curriculum of both national and state school education boards.
Step 5: Formulate a special committee for continuous control and evaluation of all the measures taken. Strategic planning for the future should be based on the reports submitted by this committee.