Gujarat Giants head coach Ram Mehar Singh has lauded the Little Giants programme, and said it could be a gamechanger.
The initiative was introduced by Adani Sportsline-owned Gujarat Giants to tap into the grassroots and train young kabaddi players. In the inaugural edition, more than 3,000 kids from over 224 schools across Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat, and Rajkot participated.
The former Indian kabaddi team captain stated that such programmes are essential to elevating the profile of the sport in the state and a great tool to connect with grassroots talent.
Talking about the importance of undertaking such initiatives, Ram Mehar Singh said, “It is time that we make Kabaddi a big sport in Gujarat and programmes like Little Giants, which commenced last year, can help us drive this narrative to a wider audience.
“And for the Little Giants to compete with big names like the Maharashtra Kabaddi Club and the Haryana academies, we must create more awareness. Another pivotal aspect of this programme is hoping that the state produces more professional Kabaddi players. This is a great initiative by the Adani Gujarat Giants.”
The Little Giants programme is currently running across four major cities, namely Ahmedabad, Surat, Baroda, and Rajkot.
The team will be holding player trials across Gujarat, which will help them to create a buzz about the game and it will also pique an interest among people. The process of becoming a good sportsman begins at an early age, especially when children are in school and hence the team feels that encouraging school children will enable the initiative to elevate the profile of the sport.
The second season of the Little Giants programme is all set to commence soon. The numbers are expected to increase in the upcoming editions.
When asked about what are some of the measures that need to be taken to ensure that these children perform well, Singh suggested, “We have to ensure that the kids selected for higher training in the programme are well looked after, maintain a healthy diet and can balance their studies and practice sessions. Kits and other necessary infrastructure should be provided to them."
“The coach also needs to be attuned with each kid to help them perform well. The Adani Sportsline team has done a fabulous job to bring in a world-class setup for these kids. Nurturing kids through this programme can help us put up at the national level, making everyone and our country proud,” he added.