A Kabaddi World Cup in Surrey was organized to help keep South Asian youth away from drugs, gangs and a life of crime.
The second annual event attracted hundreds of players and spectators to Sullivan Heights Park on Sunday (July 14).
Teams from Canada, the U.S., India, U.K., Australia and India came to compete at the U25 tournament, hosted by Kids Play Foundation, a nonprofit organization.
The action is shown in a seven-hour video live-streamed to Youtube by the Livekabaddi account, which boasts 245,118 subscribers.
Several age brackets were part of the tournament, including U25, U21, U17 and U10.
For those not familiar with kabaddi, it’s a contact marital arts sports that is popular across Asia. In a kind of hybrid of wrestling, rugby and tag, two teams of seven players have the object of having a player on offence run into the opposing side to tag as many defenders as possible without getting tackled.
The sport “teaches youth a respect for all and fear of none,” say organizers of the Surrey event.
“The focus has always been on bringing pro kabaddi players from India to play in Canada,” said Kal Dosanjh, founder of Kids Play Foundation.
“Never was there any focus to give Canadian kids an opportunity up until Kidsplay Foundation introduced formal organized Kabaddi events. We want to provide a space for youth to stay engaged in positive activities that keep them away for being tempted into negative lifestyles.”
Surrey has set aside $3.7 million to build a Kabaddi sports “facility” that will include a grass playing field and covered seating for more that 3,000 spectators.