Mahendranagar (Kanchanpur), Oct 26: For 19-year-old Kalawati Panta of Pariphanta, Shuklaphanta Municipality-8, Kanchanpur district, foray in the game of kabaddi began when she was the ninth grader at local Dharma Janata Secondary School.
Ganesh Dhami, the sports teacher at the School, was her mentor who encouraged Kalawati to take up kabaddi as her profession. Kalawati put herself at the pinnacle of the sports within three years of taking up kabaddi at school.
She was the key player of the Nepali Women's Kabaddi team in the Asian Games recently held in China. The Nepali women kabaddi team won bronze medal in the Asian Games. Seven among the 12 players in the team were from the Sudurpaschim province. Back home, all players of the team except Kalawati play from different departmental teams. Kalawati was the only player who was selected from Sudurpaschim province to play in the Asian Games.
"Players who are affiliated to the departmental teams undergo regular training and enjoy other facilities, but for me it is not an ordinary feat to get an opportunity to play in the Asiad while continuing college studies and also carrying out domestic chores," expressed Kalawati.
She was the captain of the school kabaddi girls' team and participated in many school-level competitions. Her team aced in most of these competitions.
Kalawati made a debut in the National Competition organized in Janakpur some years back. She also led the Sudurpaschim women kabaddi team in the Ninth National Games held in Pokhara.
Currently pursuing Bachelor's level studies, Kalawati expressed her desire to continue her sporting career in a departmental team while at the same time doing a job in one of the three security forces of the country- Nepal Police, the Armed Police Force Nepal and the Nepali Army. The sports clubs of these three security agencies are called the departmental teams.
"The recently-held Asian Games in China has taught us that one can make prodound progress in sports provided that the State invests in it and pays attention to providing regular training to sports persons," she said.
Before going for the Ninth National Games, Kalawati underwent a three-month closed training session at the Kabaddi Training Centre in Mahendranagar.
Coming from a modest economic income family, Kalawati's father, Bikram Panta, is the sole breadwinner for his family. He works as a daily wage labourer in India. Youngest of the three sisters among five siblings, Kalawati expressed that the government should promote talented players like her coming from economically poor families. (RSS)