The Kabaddi Season 2017 organised by the New Zealand Kabaddi Federation concluded on Sunday, April 23 with the Bay of Plenty team lifting the champion’s trophy.
The 12th edition of the Kabaddi Cup commenced on March 19 with 11 clubs from around North Island competing for the title. The matches of the last tournament of the 2017 season were held at Sri Kalgidhar Sahib Gurudwara sports ground in Takanini organised by Malwa Sports Club.
Players at the Kabaddi match (Image: Indian Weekender)
More than 3,000 people attended the tournament on the final day and cheered their respective teams. The four teams that made into the semi-finals were Kalgidhar Sports Club, Punjab Kesri Sports Club, Bay of Plenty Sports Club and Waikato Sports Club.
The Bay of Plenty Sports Club defeated the Kalgidhar Sports Club of Auckland in the final match winning the championship title.
Labour Party leader Andrew Little and community leader Sunny Kaushal watching the Kabaddi match at Takanini Gurudwara (Image: Indian Weekender)
Over the years Kabaddi has gained immense popularity across the globe, and New Zealand too hosts a number of tournaments every year. This year 24 players were invited from India to be a part of the Kabaddi season, two for each team.
Labour Party Leader Andrew Little and Mayor of Auckland Phil Goff were present on the occasion to witness the Kabaddi tournament. Both the guests, Mr Little and Mr Goff, met the Kabaddi teams and the spectators present on the ground.
“It’s the first time I have seen this match of Kabaddi; I was very intrigued. It looks like a combination of Bull Rush and Rugby,” Mr Little told Indian Weekender.
Bunty, Major and Gunji from the Bay of Plenty Sports Club were awarded as the players of the tournament. (Kabaddi players are recognised by their short names).
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff addressing the gathering (Image: Indian Weekender)
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff acknowledged the players and the crowd and cheered the Auckland team who were competing in the final match.
“I thoroughly enjoy the game of Kabaddi, and wish to see the Auckland team winning the finals,” Mr Goff said.