New Delhi : Itu Mandal of Jharkhand created history by joining the Khelo India Youth Games as the youngest player. The 13-year-old Kabaddi player entered the record books even before she made his first raid. She is is the youngest kabaddi entrant in this edition of the Games.
The tractor driver’s daughter Itu fell in love with Kabaddi when she was just 8 years old. Undeterred by all the bulky women around her, she has quickly moved up the levels to become part of the Under-18 Youth team.
Itu says that when I entered the match against Maharashtra, my parents were worried, but I was not scared. Itu, a resident of Jharkhand’s Dumka district, said she is the eldest in the family. Her parents had given complete freedom to play. They did not put any pressure to fulfill the responsibilities of the family.
Itu has a long way to go in the game, but she knows what to do when she hangs up her shoes. She says that she wants to become a coach. I will start coaching as soon as I learn enough things about the game. She says that she wants to work with the youth and help them fall in love with Kabaddi.
In recent years, kabaddi has emerged as the next big sport in the country. It has not only given a great platform to youngsters in rural India but has turned many into mega stars. Some of them have overnight become super rich too.
In 2016, a professional kabaddi league for women has also been launched, drawing young girls by the horde to the sport.
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