2016 Kabaddi World Cup :: All you wanted to know about Poland’s kabaddi journey - Features

All you wanted to know about Poland’s kabaddi journey

06 October 2016

The first thing that comes to mind when anyone thinks of Poland are the complex names which are next to impossible to pronounce! Then, of course, we remember Nobel laureate Marie Curie, musical composer Chopin, and astronomer-mathematician Nicolaus Copernicus. But come October 7th, with the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup kicking off, the country from Central Europe will give the sport’s fans another reason to remember them.

Poland is all set to take part in their first major kabaddi tournament. And like some other first-timers in the competition, the story of their journey to Ahmedabad is one that is endearing and definitely awe-inspiring.

In 2007, Indian Abhishek Sharma, a karate practitioner, moved to Poland and through Polish national karate player Michal Sosin, got acquainted with a variety of athletes in the country. Meeting with these athletes bound by a common love for contact sports led Sharma to introduce the sport of kabaddi to the local community. It took a while to convince players to join in as most of them already held full time jobs, and time was a luxury. But fast forward a few years later and with the help and enthusiasm of the local Poles and the Indian-origin community, kabaddi was a registered sport in Poland by 2011. They also got some help from the England Kabaddi Federation who organised for the team to play against kabaddi clubs in England for the team to get some exposure. 

That only led to greater things, and in 2015, Pole Michal Spiczko became the first person from Poland to play for a Star Sports Pro Kabaddi team – the Bengaluru Bulls. Spiczko too has a background in contact sport, having played American football, and with his foray into kabaddi, a lot of interest was generated back home that inspired many more to take it up actively. 

The present day Poland national team is quite strong on paper with players who come from various backgrounds. They have followed Star Sports Pro Kabaddi very closely as well, and have Indian Harwinder Singh leading them. Together, they make a deadly mix of skill and physicality that is sure to amaze everyone at the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup. Definitely a team to watch out for!