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How Pune's young Paltans have driven the adults to kabaddi

A look at how kabaddi has taken over Pune

Puneri paltan pro kabaddi
Fans of all ages at the Balewadi Stadium

The final leg of the Pro Kabaddi League kick starts in Pune later today and there has been an air of excitement about the Pro Kabaddi League in the city much before today when the action has shifted to Pune.

Puneri Paltan have dominated the mega hoardings, bus stop panels and every outdoor media in the city and have been a constant on radio as well. So it comes as little surprise to see all the four days of the Pune leg being sold out already. Apart from the impressive advertising, there has been a driving force which has single handedly driven the city to flock the Balewadi Sports Complex.

As our correspondent wandered around the sports complex, there was a sea of young kabaddi fans who were taking all of the scorching sun and the odd shower in the middle to get their hands on the elusive tickets.

Aged mostly between the age of 5-10, a number of small kids outside the arena were left awestruck at the large posters of their stars as they begged their parents for a chance to watch the game live. Often resigned at the little ones’ requests, a lot of parents have found got themselves a ticket for the kabaddi joyride.

Rohan Gawli, a parent of a five year old kid spoke to out correspondent as to how his kid’s passion for kabaddi, not just made him watch and follow the sport but also grab hold of tickets to watch the Pro Kabaddi league live at the venue.

“My son is a great kabaddi fan. Looking at his passion for the game, I decided to give him a real experience of the game. It’s also due to him that I have come to love the sport and I feel that other sports like kabaddi should also be a part of our lives as cricket has been”, said the parent of a U-Mumba fan who is waiting to see his hero Shabeer Bapu in action.

Punekars looking forward to watching stars in action

It was a similar story when parents of 8-year-old Amaan Ansari, a big fan of the Puneri Paltan skipper Wazir Singh got his entire family to fall in love with the sport. “My son Amaan is a huge kabaddi fan. He has watched all the games so far and now the entire family watches with him. So now since the games will be happening in our city, we decided to book the tickets early. We all are very excited for the games to happen”, said the father of young Amaan Ansari.

The kabaddi fever has not just gripped the small kids, but a lot of youngsters have paid huge amounts to watch the game at the stadium. Two brothers who otherwise play cricket, have decided to leave behind a day’s play and make their way to the Balewadi Sports Complex to watch the game instead.

“We have followed Pro Kabaddi from the very start of the season and we have loved every bit of it. Me and my brother are big fans of Delhi’s star raider Kashiling Adake and want to see him in action”, said Mayur Pakhare as brother Shubham Pakhare echoed his thoughts.

Kabaddi has well and truly touched the hearts of the young generation and they are driving the more matured generations to the sport. Pune’s young brigade is in awe of the sport and is slowly making the generation ahead of them stop and take note.

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