Rahul Chaudhari: "Parents used to beat me for playing kabaddi, now they call me everyday"
Telugu Titans’ star Rahul Chaudhari is the third best raider in Star Sports Pro Kabaddi with 46 raid points so far. The 22-year-old Rahul hails from Binjor, Uttar Pradesh. Rahul captained the Indian kabaddi team at the 2014 Asian Beach Games in Phuket, Thailand and won a bronze medal.
While speaking to Sportskeeda, the young sensation revealed the story of his early struggle, and his efforts to become the player that he is today. He also spoke on his own performance and captaincy.
Here are the excerpts:
Q. When did you start playing kabaddi?
I started playing kabaddi in 2006 when I was just 13 years old. I have been playing kabaddi from my school time.
Q. What kind of support did you get from your family in your early days of kabaddi?
That time no one supported me. My parents used to scold me. They used to say, “Why are you ruining your life, focus on studies it will help you in future.” Sometimes I even used to get beaten by them.
Q. How did you continue your kabaddi in the early days without home support?
I straight away ran to play after coming from school. I used to skip food too. In the evening, my family used to scold me for that.
Q. Who was harder on you – your mother or your father?
My mother didn’t scold me much but my father used to scold a lot. Sometimes I also got beaten by him. I always used to go to my mother when there was some injury. I used to say “Here mom, here it’s paining.”
Q. How is the support from your family nowadays?
My family was happy when I got a job through my game. After that everyone supported me. Now during Star Sports Pro Kabaddi they call me daily and ask about my health. They also tell me to play well.
Q. How did you get picked for the Telugu Titans?
When I played at the national level, I got selected for the Indian team camp for the Asian Games. I was in that camp last year, but I got rejected because of my passport problem. Udaya Kumar was our coach that time. He liked my performance and selected me for his team Telugu Titans.
Q. Last year you were rejected because of a passport issue. Do you hope to represent India abroad in the future?
Then I didn't have a passport, now I have one. I will try hard for the next Asian Games in 2018. I hope to get selected. I also captained the Indian kabaddi team in 2014 during Beach Asian games in Phuket, Thailand.
Q. What is the biggest goal of your career?
My aim is to play for my country. I want to earn respect for me and my family. I love kabaddi very much. My dream is to win gold medal for India and to win Arjun Award in Kabaddi.
Q. You were the captain of the team at the start of the Star Sports Pro Kabaddi 2015, but later on due to your performance you stepped down. Subsequently, you were again appointed as captain. Would you like to tell us something about that?
Sometimes we feel the pressure of captaincy, so I asked Deepak to be captain and I did perform well against Jaipur Pink Panthers. The pressure got reduced a little. There is a unique pressure with captaincy.
Q. This year your performance has been uncertain, the coach has also substituted you several times. How would you rate your own performance this season?
During the tournament at one moment my health was not well. I lost 7 kg weight and started bleeding. Whenever the coach thought that I was not able to sustain myself he decided to substitute me.
Q. You will playing at your home venue now. How much advantage do you think you will have?
Here we are not under too much pressure. The players play to the best of their abilities on their home ground. If we play 50% the crowd makes us play the remaining 50%!