Exclusive: We don't see PKL as our competitor says Yuva Kabaddi Series CEO Vikas Gautam
The tournament is organised several times a year.
The excitement of the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) is currently at its peak. Multiple blockbuster matches are being played every day. When PKL takes place, a large number of people, including renowned players from India and around the world, watch it. However, there is another tournament in Kabaddi that is gaining momentum rapidly, and that is the Yuva Kabaddi Series.
Currently, the Winter Edition of the Yuva Kabaddi Series is taking place in Puducherry, featuring numerous young players from across the country. Vikas Gautam, the CEO of the Yuva Kabaddi Series, revealed several insights about the tournament during an exclusive interview with Khel Now.
Plan for starting the Yuva Kabaddi Series
The initiation of the Yuva Kabaddi Series was aimed at providing an opportunity for young players. Players up to the age of 23 participate in this series. Speaking about the series, CEO Vikas Gautam shared many details.
He said, “It has been a long journey, filled with ups and downs for us. Cricket is the most popular sport in India, leaving other sports far behind. While there are players, there is no platform for them. This is why we decided to start the Yuva Kabaddi Series.”
While the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) has been established for senior players, there was no significant platform for junior players. Therefore, we decided to create a launchpad for them. We toured several states, but there were no professional tournaments for junior players. Without professional tournaments, the game cannot progress. This is why we started this tournament.”
Model of the Yuva Kabaddi Series
The Yuva Kabaddi Series is played multiple times in a year, and each edition is given a different name, such as Winter Edition, Summer Edition, and Monsoon Edition. Vikas Gautam explained, “When we started this tournament in 2022, it was in the month of June. We decided to organise multiple editions in a year instead of just one and give each edition a unique name based on the weather. That’s why we named them Summer, Monsoon, and Winter editions.”
Competition between PKL and Yuva Kabaddi Series
In the country, there is the Pro Kabaddi League for senior players, and on the other hand, there is the Yuva Kabaddi Series for young players. However, the CEO of the tournament stated that there is no competition between PKL and the Yuva Kabaddi Series.
They said, “There is no shortage of youth in our country, and due to mobile phones and the internet, people are now watching content all the time. This is why we organize matches throughout the day so that people can watch the matches they want to see. While PKL is held in the evening, we schedule most of our matches during the day, so there is no clash.”
No Connection between PKL and Yuva Kabaddi Series
The CEO of the Yuva Kabaddi Series clarifies that there is no connection between their tournament and the Pro Kabaddi League or Mashal Sports. They are entirely separate tournaments, and there is no relationship between them.
They said, “We have created this tournament for Under-23 players, while PKL is for senior players. We do not receive any money from any association or PKL. In fact, we don’t take money from anyone.”
Business Model of the Yuva Kabaddi Series
To sustain any tournament, it is crucial to understand how they generate revenue. The organiser explained that until they create big stars, it’s challenging to attract sponsors.
They stated, “We are still developing a business model. We invest some money from our side, and there are also some funds from investors. When the tournament matches are broadcast on certain platforms, we receive revenue. The challenge with Kabaddi is that it doesn’t have big stars because there are not as many matches. To create a star, you have to repeatedly showcase that player on the screen.”
Players who have played in PKL can play in the Yuva Kabaddi Series
After playing in the Yuva Kabaddi Series, players can also go on to play in the PKL. This momentum benefits them, and if they wish, they can participate in the Yuva Kabaddi Series again after playing in the PKL.
They said, “Currently, most of the players playing in the PKL are young players who have played in the Yuva Kabaddi Series. If these players are coming back to play in the Yuva Kabaddi Series after playing in the PKL, then we will be very happy. However, it’s not that if they don’t come back, we will be disappointed.”
How to get Entry into the Yuva Kabaddi Series?
Many young players may wonder how they can participate in the Yuva Kabaddi Series. Vikas Gautam explained, “We approach the State Associations and ask them to nominate young players from their side. After that, all states conduct trials, and from those trials, a pool of 25-30 players is selected. A camp is organised for these players, and from there, players are nominated for the Yuva Kabaddi Series. Therefore, it is essential to participate in the trials conducted by State Associations.”
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