Updated February 1st, 2024 at 16:14 IST

After Nationals, Yuva Kabaddi Series Star Iyyappan aims for soaring success in sport

Iyyappan Veerapandian is high on confidence after fine performances in the Yuva Kabaddi Series led him to state and national level tournaments.

Iyyappan Veerapandian in action during the Yuva Kabaddi Series | Image:Yuva Kabaddi Series
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Iyyappan Veerapandian is high on confidence after fine performances in the Yuva Kabaddi Series led him to state and national level tournaments. The fearsome raider now aims to continue the excellent performances to reach new heights in his career.

However, life wasn't all shiny for Iyyappan, who comes from a village named Ariyankuppam in Pondicherry and has parents who work as labourers to make ends meet. Despite the struggles, the formidable right-raider continues to toil on the mat to achieve his goals. 

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"I was in the sixth standard when I started playing Kabaddi and then joined Jaya Sports Club in Pondicherry to hone my skills. My parents work as labourers and they weren't in favour of me playing Kabaddi as they were afraid that I might get injured. However, I really wanted to play, so, they allowed me and when they saw me joining SAI and then playing in EaseMyTrip Yuva Kabaddi Series on TV, they were really happy and proud of me," commented Iyyappan.

Iyyappan's life took a turn when he started as a volunteer at the Yuva Kabaddi Series in December 2022 which escalated his interest towards the sport following which he made his debut in the fifth edition of Yuva Kabaddi Series. This got him the opportunity to play in the All India Inter SAI competition as well. He has been in fine form for Chola Veerans in the Winter Edition 2023 at the Rajiv Gandhi Indoor Stadium in Pondicherry and has scored 47 points in 12 matches. However, the journey hasn't been smooth sailing for the player.

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He added, “Yuva Kabaddi Series has provided me with a platform to showcase my talent. Before this tournament nobody knew me, however, thanks to social media, people in Pondicherry and Tami Nadu started to recognize me, and I started to receive opportunities to play at state and national level tournaments as well.”

"I didn't get enough chances in my first season but I gradually earned opportunities to play and showcased my skills. This is my third season with Chola Veerans and my performance wasn't up to the mark in the initial matches, so, I dedicated myself fully to performing well in the next five matches and I started to do good. I would like to express gratitude for providing me with this opportunity," reflected Iyyappan.

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Chola Veerans qualified for the challenger round of the Yuva Kabaddi Series Winter Edition 2023, a tournament that is empowering India’s budding kabaddi stars with a highly competitive platform and gives the next-gen players a chance to showcase their talent. It also grooms them for the biggest stage in Kabaddi.

The team finished in sixth position with 30 points during the survival round and will aim to do better during the challenger round of the tournament. The final will be played on 7th February.

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Published February 1st, 2024 at 16:14 IST