SFU wrestler Jessy Sahota finds new passion on kabaddi field

Published: May 20, 2014

The B.C. kabaddi season kicked off on Saturday, May 17, with the first tournament in Surrey on May 25 at Bell Centre Kabaddi Stadium

Kabaddi BC

Jessy Sahota (left), a former Kamagata Maru raider, attempts to win a point for his team against Azaad Kabaddi Club in Abbotsford last season. Surrey Now photo

KYLE BENNING
SURREY NOW

SURREY — Imagine a six-foot-three-inch, 255-pound shirtless beast of a man running at you full speed and your job is to tackle him. It sounds pretty frightening.

The shirtless man is Jessy Sahota, a 21-year-old Simon Fraser University student-athlete who is entering his sophomore season as a professional kabaddi raider with Dashmesh Kabaddi Club.

Sahota, a fourth-year criminology student, has been wrestling for the SFU Clan for a couple of years.

The heavyweight lost his full-ride scholarship after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) two seasons ago.

“I had to take a season off. I came back and I wasn’t 100 per cent, but I was still doing very well,” Sahota said. “When I went to talk to (my coach) about scholarship terms, he said he couldn’t give me a full-ride anymore and that I had to prove myself all over again.”

With a limited amount of time remaining on his eligibility to play at the collegiate level, the twotime national youth champion wrestler started to devote a lot more time to a sport he is familiar with kabaddi.

He used to watch tournaments with his father, who is a big fan of kabaddi, and younger brother starting at the age of five.

“One year, I couldn’t wrestle because of something to do with registration, and my dad told me that I should try kabaddi. I was kind of hesitant to try it,” Sahota admitted.

Related Stories:

Many kabaddi players have been known to take steroids and performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs), and Sahota was worried about entering the league.

Now that he has one year under his belt, he views his competitors who use steroids and PEDs in a different light.

“They can’t speak English, they’re not educated, they have no knowledge about the substances they’re taking, but they just want to play really hard and they want to win, so they make enough money to feed their families back home.

“Once you get to that pro or semi-pro level, there are going to be people who are willing to do anything to win,” Sahota said.

However, Sahota believes that the positives of playing kabaddi outweigh the negatives.

“I’ve been wrestling at the highest level in our community for the last five years,” he said. “The amount of recognition and financial stability I got from it is not nearly as close to what I get in kabaddi. In kabaddi you get paid more, you get recognized more and you get higher status within the community.”

Due to the success of his rookie season, Sahota was able to afford to pay a year of tuition at SFU after just two weekends of playing kabaddi.

Pola Sahota, Sahota’s brother, is turning pro this season and wants to emulate the success of his older brother. Pola is even filling the void left by his brother by playing for Jessy’s former team, Kamagata Maru Kabaddi Club.

Sahota is a stopper turned raider, and so is Pola, who also followed in his wrestling and training journey. The Sahota brothers are two of the handful of Canadian-born players who compete in the province. Another is Aran Hare, one of Sahota’s Dashmesh teammates.

Hare considers the B.C. kabaddi league as one of the hardest for domestic players to enter because of the demand of high-level competition at tournaments.

“B.C. is one of the most competitive leagues worldwide,” Hare said. “When you have the world’s best players already coming to play, it’s kind of hard to get in to play the sport.”

Despite being so devoted to kabaddi, Sahota is still hoping to compete as a wrestler. He is preparing for the Canadian Olympic trials, which would allow him to compete at the 2016 summer games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The B.C. kabaddi season kicked off on Saturday (May 17). The first tournament in Surrey will be held on May 25 at Bell Centre Kabaddi Stadium, at 64th Avenue and 144th Street, Surrey.

WHAT IS KABADDI?

• A game, best described as a hybrid of tag and wrestling, that started in villages in Punjab, India.

• Played on a circular field divided into two halves, one for each team.

•  Each team has four stoppers on field in a “chain.” A team will send one raider to other team’s side of field.

•  The raider has 30 seconds after making contact with one of the stoppers to run back to his half.

•  The stopper’s job is to prevent him from crossing back to his side of the field.

•  If he makes it back, raider’s team is awarded a point.

•  If stopper prevents him from making it back, stopper’s team is awarded a point.

•  40-minute games.

•  Each team rotates between three or four raiders.

•  Full contact. No biting, scratching, eye gauging or slapping.

•  Ten tournaments in B.C. this season.

•  Anyone looking to play kabaddi can contact Jessy Sahota at 604-760-2893. He hosts an open practice on Sunday and Wednesday nights at Newton Recreation Centre.

Read more stories from Surrey Now here.


Tags: , , , , , , ,





Featured

Abbotsford's Ravinder Singh Atwal has been identified online as the truck driver who died in a truck crash on Highway 99 near Delta on Wednesday. The Abbotsford father was killed when his dump truck hit the highway median and burst into flames. Submitted photo/Facebook.

Abbotsford trucker killed on Hwy 99 remembered as ‘one of the nicest guys’

GLENDA LUYMES VANCOUVER DESI An Abbotsford father killed in a fiery crash on Highway 99 is being remembered as hard-working and friendly by fellow truck…
Continue Reading »

A man reads the latest issue of French weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo bearing a cartoon of Prophet Mohammed at a French bookseller in Abidjan on January 19, 2015. SIA KAMBOU/AFP/Getty Images

Mumbai police arrest newspaper editor for reprinting Charlie Hebdo cartoon

VANCOUVER DESI Mumbai police have arrested and since bailed out the editor of an Urdu language newspaper for reprinting a Charlie Hebdo cartoon of the…
Continue Reading »

Indian spectators watch as a float carrying a sign that reads "Congratulations! It's a Baby Girl" passes by during the Indian Republic Day parade in New Delhi on January 26, 2015. The float represented India's Ministry of Women and Child Development.  An estimated 26 million babies are born anually in India, a country considered to be one of the worst places to be born a girl because of a societal 'gender gap' that favours boys and preferences for male children. ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images

Father in India arrested for attempted murder after trying to bury his daughter alive

VANCOUVER DESI A father in India has been arrested for attempted murder after he tried to bury his 10-year-old daughter alive, according to Britain’s Daily…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Abbotsford's Ravinder Singh Atwal has been identified online as the truck driver who died in a truck crash on Highway 99 near Delta on Wednesday. The Abbotsford father was killed when his dump truck hit the highway median and burst into flames. Submitted photo/Facebook.

Abbotsford trucker killed on Hwy 99 remembered as ‘one of the nicest guys’

GLENDA LUYMES VANCOUVER DESI An Abbotsford father killed in a fiery crash on Highway 99 is being remembered as hard-working and friendly by fellow truck…
Continue Reading »

Opposition Muted to Harper’s New Anti Terror Bill

BY Ujjal Dosanjh Special to Vancouver Province I smell an election coming. Not in October 2015; much sooner than that. Harper has just unveiled the…
Continue Reading »

Opposition parties treading carefully on new anti-terror legislation

By Stephanie Levitz THE CANADIAN PRESS OTTAWA — Anti-terrorism legislation introduced by the Conservative government Friday received a cautious reception by the opposition parties who…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Vancouver-BC

Raise your hand, send us a selfie and make a statement against racism (with video)

VANCOUVER DESI Vancouver Desi’s digital anti-racism campaign, Raise Your Hands Against Racism, officially kicked off Thursday, with people across the Lower Mainland sending in selfies…
Continue Reading »

File photo: Curry chicken on rice. Sam Leung/PNG

Spicy treats on menu as 8 chef teams battle for Vancouver’s second-annual Curry Cup

VANCOUVER DESI A group of Lower Mainland chefs are set to go head-to-head with their South Asian cooking skills as they gear up for Vancouver’s…
Continue Reading »

Shah Rukh Khan, Abhishek Bachchan, Deepika Padukone, Sonu Sood and Boman Irani in a still from the Bollywood film Happy New Year.

Indian expat avoids stalking conviction by blaming Bollywood for his behaviour

IANS Sydney  – An Indian man’s excuse that Bollywood love stories encouraged him to excessively approach and stalk women helped him avoid conviction in the…
Continue Reading »

File photo: Commuters hang by doors of a crowded local train in Mumbai, India, Tuesday, July 8, 2014. Three men were killed on Monday after they attempted to take a selfie by a moving train near Agra. AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade

College students killed while attempting train selfie in India

VANCOUVER DESI Three college friends on their way to India’s Republic Day celebrations were killed by a speeding train after they tried posing for a…
Continue Reading »

Screen shot of Shah Rukh Khan's first video tweet. Submitted.

Shah Rukh Khan sends out India’s first tweet using Twitter’s new mobile video camera

VANCOUVER DESI Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan was the first-ever Indian to use Twitter’s freshly launched mobile video camera. Twitter announced the new feature on…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Akshay Kumar

Askhay Kumar offers martial arts training to visually impaired girls

PRASHANT SINGH HINDUSTAN TIMES Last year, Akshay Kumar — who was a professional martial arts trainer before he started acting — launched an initiative to…
Continue Reading »

Shah Rukh Khan (L) and Kajol (R) are rumoured to be appearing in the next Rohit Shetty film. Getty Images.

Rohit Shetty tightlipped on SRK, Kajol casting rumours

IANS Mumbai — Bollywood’s blockbuster director Rohit Shetty is remaining tightlipped on rumours he’s managed to rope in a casting coup of Shah Rukh Khan…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood sex

Sonam Kapoor never planned to use her father’s fame to jumpstart her Bollywood career

IANS Mumbai  – It’s always thought that Bollywood’s star children have it easy, but actress Sonam Kapoor says that at the start of her film…
Continue Reading »