TAMANAWIS Secondary defeated Panorama Ridge Secondary 39-29 in the final match on Wednesday in the first kabaddi tournament of Surrey school district.
A day earlier, Tamanawis Secondary defeated LA Matheson Secondary 39-29 and Panorama Ridge Secondary defeated Enver Creek Secondary 37-35 in the semi-finals.
The school teams competed with each other over a period of one month, with the semi-finals and finals taking place this week.
The four schools are the first in Surrey to adopt the new game that has caught on like wildfire and is now all set to spread to other schools.
As The VOICE reported last week, Mandeep Dhaliwal of Tamanawis Secondary coordinated the league matches and coaches. He looked around for teachers in the school district who would be willing to run kabaddi at their schools if he got them the support needed for it. Ramen Bedi, Marik Sandhu, and Sarb Atwal told him that if he got them the help, they were ready to do it.
Then he went to the kabaddi community to get coaches and Jessy Sahota, Karn Johal, Dal Aujla and Lakha volunteered. Each high school had a teacher and a community coach that worked with the boys. And as the season progressed, the teachers also learned how to coach.
All games are played outdoors on sunny days with many modifications from traditional kabaddi for safety. For example, players have to wear mouth guards and knee pads, and tackling and tagging cannot be above the shoulders.
Dhaliwal said that they are also looking to expand their referee pool. If anyone with kabaddi experience is interested in a paid referee position and becoming certified, email Mandeep Dhaliwal at Dhaliwal_mandee@surreyschools.ca for more details.