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Sheru Classic Maha Mumbai Kabaddi League - Empowering local athletes, Celebrating the sport of soil!

The Indian sports ecosystem is supremely diverse, with sports like basketball, football, hockey, and Kabaddi attracting the masses, who were up until now restricted to cricket. While the community is ready to appreciate and enjoy different sports, the built-in structure for many sports is not in place or is not looked after effectively. In this bargain, the next-generation athletes struggle to grab worthy opportunities, and India as a sports nation risks losing its most valuable asset, "players". It is extremely important for the players to be able to see sports in a professional way, as a solid career option, and this can be achieved only by empowering them financially at the grassroots level.

SportVot joined hands with the Mumbai Upnagar Kabaddi Association to re-initiate a franchise-based Kabaddi league, the Sheru Classic Maha Mumbai Kabaddi League for the local athletes from the Mumbai Upnagar region, in order to give an opportunity to the local, grassroots players to display their talent in a professional manner. The objective behind organising the league was to create a repository of Kabaddi talent and provide a platform that encourages communication and contest amongst them, irrespective of their age, gender, or financial background, for the greater good of the sport! The Maha Mumbai Kabaddi League featured 500 players, representing 12 different franchises. SportVot, along the entire course of the league, right from its conceptualization to the execution, integrated the use of technology to ensure that the league gets worldwide recognition and gets people to support the local talent. The league witnessed numerous athletes’ success stories. With players like Arif Sayyed and Gayatri Tambe making a comeback after three to four years and next-gen players like Neel Akhade or Saee Tamhanekar becoming the youngest Kabaddi players to play professionally and enjoy financial remuneration as athletes.

The structure of the league was predetermined, and the focus was to simplify and enhance the player journey. The digital registrations for the trials round to digital player profiles for each and every athlete, the use of technology ensured that the sport of kabaddi and the kabaddi community got accustomed to the digital age. SportVot, with its player-centric approach, instilled the mentality of looking at sports as a career by rewarding every player, support staff and coaches monetarily. SportVot provided the two most important things that can empower the player in true sense; financial backing and appreciation and motivation to perform the best.

The league conferred a 'Player of the Match ' award for every match and a 'Player of the Tournament' award for the best performance in each category. The best raider and best defender were conferred the green and the orange sleeve as a mark of honour. SportVot also introduced the "Moments" feature and the "Voter’s Choice Awards" feature to connect the players with their fans.

At the end of the league, 6 teams from 3 age-groups in men’s and women’s categories emerged as the Maha Champions, with players from each category winning best raider and best defender, the Voter’s Choice award, and the Player of the Tournament!

But, however important it is to win, we believe it's even more important to participate, to celebrate, to come together, and to display your skills to the world. The Maha Mumbai Kabaddi League epitomised the spirit of sports! The true winners were the sports-hungry fans and the supremely talented athletes who got an opportunity to honour the game at such a big level.

The one thing that the success of the Sheru Classic Maha Mumbai Kabaddi League accentuated is that there are hundreds and thousands of athletes waiting to roar and shine, all we need to do is provide them with a platform that they deserve and in no time India will achieve what it is capable of, and become the global force to reckon with in sports!

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