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Dubai school brings Kabaddi to international forefront
BY IMRAN MOJIB February 10, 2018
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DUBAI: As India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits UAE on Saturday, the Indian High School (IHS), Dubai, along with the Consulate General of India (CGI) and Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), Dubai, hosted the first ever Kabaddi League on Thursday and Friday to welcome and respect the extolled leader.

With the spirit of celebration for India completing 70 years of its independence, this tournament paid homage by bringing an Indian rural game to the international forefront. The Kabaddi tournament remarkably reflected on the robust relationship that India and UAE share.

“The idea of bringing the Indian rural game to the international forefront was ignited during the Dubai 30x30 Fitness Challenge,” said Dr. Ashok Kumar, CEO, IHS.

He added that it was during the fitness challenge that KHDA Chairman Dr. Abdulla Al Karam had played Kabaddi and Kho-Kho (Indian games) with the IHS Chairman Sunil Umrao Singh and the staff of IHS. That was the point of inception – Kabaddi was appreciated for fostering crisis management skills, pro-activeness, enhancing agility, lung capacity, muscular coordination and presence of mind.

“A formidable alliance between IHS, CGI and KHDA was formed to give students in the UAE a chance to play and enjoy Kabaddi. Kabaddi is a combative sport and is believed to be akin to practicing yoga, where players control their mind and body through self-control and concentration. The game triggers presence of mind, team management, SWOT analysis, physical strength and understanding opponent’s strategy,” said Kumar.

A total of eight schools competed with their efficient and energetic teams for the Kabaddi Cup semifinals. The Millennium School, Dubai, and India International School Sharjah were the finalists who competed for the title on Friday.

There was also a round of entertaining matches between the parents’ team and IHS staff and Gems Modern Academy staff.

The school had arranged for a rural setup with a moist sand field to play the game, trucks and tractors along the ground, and music to lift up the spirits of the participants as well the audience. The League saw some frisky action with Consul General of India in Dubai Vipul and KHDA Chairman Dr. Abdulla Al Karam leading their teams for the inter-government friendly match.

Post the event, the school plans to organise summer training camps in affiliation with the International Kabaddi Federation (IKF) and the Amateur Kabbadi Federation of India (AKFI). The school will host these camps within its premises and will keep them open to all school students. The initiative is lauded by the KHDA and CGI for bringing health and agility close to life of the students.

Using sports as a medium, India and UAE promoted racial unity among the multi-ethnic communities that live in the UAE with this healthy series of Kabaddi matches. The Kabaddi League was an outstanding representation of how well the two countries have accepted each other’s cultures and overall existence and have set a global example. Beyond the political realms, India and UAE will now share a relationship through sports as well.

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