Uganda’s hopes of participating in the professional Just Kabaddi League in India have received a major boost. The select players, who will participate in the league are inching closer to their dream of playing professionally after eight Indian backed companies contributed tickets for their journey.
Uganda will play in the Just Kabaddi League Season 10 in India Haryana from December 1-16. Just Kabaddi League, is an audition for the Ugandan players who could get a lifetime chance to play with professional teams. No Ugandan players were auctioned in the money-spinning Pro Kabaddi League that is set to start on December 22in Bengaluru, India.
That is not to say that the country does not have the talent to match those selected, only that they did not have the platform to be spotted by selectors partly because of the Covid-19 pandemic that delayed the World Cup games from where most of the players are selected. The likes of Douglas Mulaalira, Abbey Kiwalabye, Shafiq Katamba and Joel Machari have exhibited top talent so is Olivia Nalubega, Angella Nakaye and Shanita Najjemba, among the ladies. They are just waiting for their turn!
Luckily, the team will play in the World Cup next year in Iran, after qualifying alongside Kenya from Africa.
“It is up to the players to put up good performances in order to earn contracts,” Edgar Mujuni, the chief executive of the Uganda Kabaddi Federation, said.
Uganda will field a team of 10 women, who will play as Team Uganda and eight men for professional league clubs. Each player on the men’s team will be attached to a club.
Just Kabaddi League will feature teams representing eight states namely Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Pune, Gujarat and Bangalore.
“This is an exchange Kabaddi programme where all players shall earn financial benefits,” Mujuni said.
The teams are scheduled to play a series of friendly games as a strategy of improving the sport’s status.
30 players are camping in Matugga until their departure on November 24.
Bank of India, Uganda Kabaddi’s main partners, have contributed Shs10m towards air tickets.
WHAT IS KABADDI?
Kabaddi is a contact sport played between two teams of seven players. The objective of the game is for a single player on offence, referred to as a raider, to run into the opposing team’s half of the court, tag out as many of their defenders as possible , and return to their own half, without being tackled by the defenders. Points are scored for each player tagged by the raider while the opposing team earns a point for stopping the raider. Players are taken out of the game if they are taken if they are tagged or tackled, but are brought back in for each point scored by their team from a tag or tackle.