Surrey High Schools Form Kabaddi League For Old Style Punjabi Tag And Tackle

The traditional Punjabi-Indian sport of Kabaddi involves tagging and getting away or tagging and getting wrestler down and it takes a lot of stamina and physical battle to win points.

SURREY – A Surrey high school has adopted a sports league to bring a traditional Punjabi-Indian sport Kabaddi to younger generations in Canada.

Kabaddi involves tagging and getting away or tagging and getting wrestler down and it takes a lot of stamina and physical battle to win points.

There are teams from Surrey area high schools including Tamanawis, Enver Creek, L.A. Matheson and Panorama Ridge secondary schools, which have taken part in the first-ever Surrey High School Kabaddi League, reported CBC News.

The rules are a little more complicated and the physical demands much higher.

There are 4 players on each side, called stoppers. They lock arms, as each team takes turns sending in a “raider.”

The raider tries to tag a member of the opposite team, earning a point, but only if he can get back across the centre line. The defending team tries to stop and hold the raider, most often with a tackle.

“As long as I can remember, Kabaddi has been part of my community and I’ve always been going out to watch. This is the first time I got a chance to play and I love playing it,” said player Paulvir Dosanj.

The semi-final game played at L.A. Matheson Secondary School recently drew hundreds of spectators, many from the high school but also some older fans.

“Kabaddi is a sport that really resonates within this community. It carries memories for a lot of students’ fathers and grandparents,” said organizer Mandeep Dhaliwal.

He said it gives parents, grandparents and other elderly people in the community a way to connect to the schools.

“When they see a kabaddi game on, they walk over, and get a lot of pride,” he said.

As for the younger generation, they’ve also fully welcomed the traditional game and are invested in it.

“It brings diversity to the school and allows everybody to be part of something,” Simrin Hundal, a student at L.A. Matheson.

Organizers also hope the sport will give students in the Surrey school district another alternative to getting in trouble.

“It just provides one more positive outlet. It was a way for us to tap them on the shoulder and say, you know what, you can channel your energy this way,” said Dhaliwal.

“The sport carries a lot of pride, to be a kabaddi player it is not easy. It takes a lot of strength, a lot of courage to get out there and battle other people,” he said.

He said the sport is all about positivity and sportsmanship.

“If you have a good battle with someone, a good wrestling battle with someone you put out your hand and you lift them up,” he said.

The league was formed three months ago, but Dhaliwal hopes the sport will be part of the school district’s athletic’s association program eventually.

The final game of the tournament was played at Tamanwis Secondary School last Wednesday.


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