On 10 August I was proud to attend a kabaddi tournament hosted by Melbourne’s Indian community and the Young Kabaddi Club Melbourne at Errington Reserve in St Albans. Members might associate the sport of cricket with Indian culture, but kabaddi is a traditional game that is enjoying growing popularity both here in Australia and back in India. Originating in Bangladesh, it is very popular in rural areas of India and has a particular popularity in the Punjab region. I will not be able to do it justice by explaining the rules, other than to say that it does not require a ball or any equipment, and it is very physical. I encourage members to look it up online.
I was joined on the day for the tournament by over 4000 members of the community, and I enjoyed traditional Indian food and music as part of the festival. Eight clubs from across Australia participated in the tournament, and I am proud to say that the members of my local team, the Young Kabaddi Club Melbourne, were crowned champions on the day. I would like to pay special tribute to the club’s secretary, Mr Mukesh Sharma, for making me feel most welcome throughout the day.
There are four kabaddi clubs across Melbourne, and it is important that local and state governments step up and support this growing sport that is so important to the Indian community.
I look forward to working with Mukesh and the rest of the Young Kabaddi Club Melbourne in the future as they expand and continue to engage Indian Australians in Melbourne’s western suburbs.