Dhyan Chand award winner Kavitha opens up about her enthralling Kabaddi journey

Jan 19, 2024

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Tamil Nadu’s kabaddi teams are aiming to give the state a medal-winning start on home soil when the 6th Khelo India Youth Games 2023 get away at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium on Thursday. The men’s team hopes to place on the podium for the first time in the young division, while the ladies of Tamil Nadu, who took home the bronze medal during the last Games in Madhya Pradesh, are going to start their campaign against the defending winners Haryana in Group A.

The indoor stadium has been the training ground for both sides for the last week. Kavitha Selvaraj, the recipient of the Dhyan Chand Award, is the women’s team’s coach. 

Before she started teaching, Kavitha was a successful player. She competed for her country in the continental tournament, where they took home several medals. She did lament, nevertheless, that she did not receive the proper acknowledgment.

Kavitha spoke to TOI about her accomplishments. She said, “I have won numerous awards representing India, including the Asian Games gold in 2010. But there was none to guide me to apply for the Arjuna Award. Had I applied, I would have got the award.”

Due to injury concerns, Kavitha, then 27 years old, decided to stop from playing. She left the sport, but in 2019 she came back as a coach. Kavitha added, “I had a few injury issues and simultaneously wanted to spend quality time with my family. After the break, my family pushed me to start a career in coaching. They felt that I had a lot to offer to the sport. I joined SAI in Gandhinagar and then got elevated as the coach of Indian team that went on to win the Hangzhou Asian Games.”

Speaking on TN’s poor showing at the Khelo Games, Kavitha stated, “We did not have much time to prepare. The preparation time was limited to only 10 days.”

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