Chennai suburban resident coaches women kabaddi team

By Balasubramani Muniyandi Published on Sep 15, 2018 05:01 PM IST

Chennai: Among the numerous players who use the Madambakkam Tank Ground in teh city suburb for their sports activities, the women’s Kabaddi team that practises in the ground every day, stands out.

‘News Today’ speaks to coach T Michael Raj to get an insight.

Here are the excerpts from the interview:

Q) Tell us about yourself and your team.

A) I am a native of Kanyakumari, settled in Madambakkam 15 years ago. I run a tuition centre here. Instead of just focusing on education, I also stress on the importance of sports and the various sports quotas which will benefit students. Being a kabaddi player myself, I took the initiative of starting a women’s team in 2016.

Q) What is the current status of women’s kabaddi in the locality?

A) Initially there was not much response, but now my team has close to 20 to 30 players in different categories. They are more energetic, enthusiastic and fit now.

Q) About the achievements of your players.

A) Members of our team will be representing the Kanchipuram district junior team in the State-level tournament and two others will represent the district in sub-junior category. As far as education is concerned, they are all good students. Since I run my own tuition centre, I help them with their academics as well.

Q) Are parents cooperative?

A) They have been understanding, cooperative, and have given full freedom to the children. Sometimes there is a misconception that players get injured during the game, but the fact is that all of them are trained and are fit. Injuries can happen in any sport, but that does not stop people from playing.

Q) What are your requirements?

A) To tell the truth, we do not have any facility at all. Even the jerseys that my players are wearing, are bought from my own earnings.

I do not collect fees for training, I do it out of passion for the sport. We train at the Madambakkam Tank Ground. There is no mat for the players to practise and the lack of lighting also makes it difficult in the wee hours. If something is done about this, it would be helpful.

Michael can be reached at 9444849356.