Indian team pays out of own pocket to compete at 2023 Kudo World Cup
An 18-member Indian contingent is all set to fly to Tokyo from Mumbai for the upcoming 2023 Kudo World Cup by paying out of their own pocket.
An 18-member Indian contingent is all set to fly to Tokyo from Mumbai late on Tuesday night for the upcoming 2023 Kudo World Cup by paying out of their own pocket.
Kudo is a Japanese hybrid martial art. It is a full contact combat sport which involves everything from punches, kicks, throws, and takedowns with protective headgear and gloves.
"We are going to compete on our own cost. The Kudo International Federation India (KIFI) has helped us in arranging the competition fee, but the everything else from travel to stay and food, we have to arrange on our own," tells Sohail Khan, an athlete travelling to Tokyo, to The Bridge.
"I have been lucky to get a couple of local sponsors on board by negotiating personally, but the same cannot be said about all the other athletes," he adds.
Khan, who is a 15-time national champion, and a Junior World Champion from 2017 when the world championships was held in Mumbai, revealed that the lack of financial help from the Indian government means that there is nothing the national federation could do.
"KIFI is recognised by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, but there is no financial assistance from the government to the federation," he says.
The Kudo International Federation India is also led by popular Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar as the chairman.
The 2023 Kudo World Cup will see a total of 15 Indian athletes in action across various Physical Index (PI) categories. Unlike other martial arts where body weight is the only criteria to classify players, Kudo takes into account both body weight and height in a system called PI.
Son of a retired policewoman and a government employee, the Madhya Pradesh based Sohail Khan will be competing in the -250 PI category in Tokyo.
The Kudo World Cup is slated to be held from 10th May to 18th May 2023.