Interview with Radha Kapoor : "The Dabangs thrive on camaraderie"
The owner of the Dabang Delhi Radha Kapoor speaks about the performance of her team, the turning points and the performance of Rohit Kumar.
A graduate from the Parsons Design School in New York, Radha Kapoor has been a trendsetter in the truest sense of the word. From revolutionizing the way Business World functioned since acquiring its stakes last year to heralding a new sporting rage with her ownership of franchises in PKL and HIL, her work has been inspiring and path breaking to say the least. In an exclusive chat with Sportskeeda, Miss Kapoor opened up about her initiation into Kabaddi and how the journey has been so far.
Q: It’s quite unusual to see a woman in a game like Kabbadi? What ignited the spark?
A: Like in the case of the Men’s team, the Women’s team too have been quite dominant in kabaddi. The Indian women’s national team has won Gold for India in 3 consecutive World Cups and 2 Asian Games. Even though I am the only female team owner in the League, I have been closely associated with our team and interacted with other co-owners.
Especially this season we have had 3 pre-season camps and the players had enough time to bond and be with each other as a team. The boys are more like a family now than just team members.
Q: The results haven’t really gone in your team’s favour. How do you feel about not making the playoffs this year too?
A: Last year was the first year and was a learning process for all of us. Despite glimpses of brilliance we fell short of capitalizing on the good starts and key moments. Injuries to some of our important players during the season also did not help the cause. This year we were a lot better prepared though. With Honnappa on board, we have made a few changes in our strategy. Some injuries, however, deterred us again and we couldn’t lift the trophy.
The results as I have maintained are kind of secondary though, the zeal that I see in our boys is extraordinary and I’m sure sooner than later, we will be jostling for the title.
Q: Individually, Dabang Delhi’s defenders and raiders are amongst the top in the league this season. What according to you has been the changing point this season?
Kashi is placed as the number 1 raider and we also have Rohit who too is amongst the Top 10 raiders. They both have been in a really great form and have been crucial cogs for the team. During the pre-season camps our major concern had been the defence and I think Ravinder on the right corner and Amit on the left are doing great on that end. Ravinder is the number 1 defender and has also led the team to victory.
He is the only defender in the history of PKL with 8 successful tackles in a single match. I assume it has to do with the effort the boys put in during the off-season. Hopefully, we will be able to translate their super performances in to a collective effort next season.
Q: Your new recruit Rohit Kumar did really well as he tried to step in Surjeet Narwal’s shoes. Considering he was your find, tell us how you feel about his super-show?
Yes, Rohit debuted this year but he has been very much part of the family. He was all set to play for us last season but due to his ankle injury he could not play. But this year, I would not be boasting if I say he is back with a bang. He had 44 raid points and has become an expert when it comes to super raids. He is extremely fond of Surjeet and Surjeet too guides him like his younger brother. I hope Surjeet recovers soon and joins the squad. Watching Rohit and Surjeet together in action will be something to watch out for.
Q:And what according to you is the best thing about your team?
Camaraderie! As part of our innovative initiatives of bringing the team together and train them on various facets of team bonding, we invited famous Motivational speaker, Kurush Khodaiji whose sessions with the team tremendously helped the team bond better, understand the pressures of a League format sport. Our team has players who come from different backgrounds, cultures and various states of India but all of us are now a close knit family. Even the foreign players have gelled quite well. The players understand each other much better and are going out of their way to make the new pool feel at home.