New Delhi [India], May 23 (ANI): The inaugural edition of the Indian Taekwondo Premier League (TPL) will take place from June 22 to June 26 at the Talkatora Stadium in New Delhi.
Disclosing this at a grand Greet and Meet function of franchise owners, mentors and coaches here on Sunday evening, Dr Venkata K Ganjam, Founder Director, declared that this would be the start of a new era in this highly popular sport.
"The men's League will be followed by an international league in Doha, Qatar. Thereafter, we will have a League for women and then for kids, becoming the first all-year-round league in India," he announced.
Founder Director Duvvuri Ganesh explained that the June 22-26 edition would be played out for the first time in a team format. "Each team will boast of five top players. We have restricted ourselves to the 58.1kg-67.9kg category to keep the competition fast and thrilling," he said.
The TPL created a record of sorts even before its launch, with as many as four women taking up the mantle of team owners. Moreover, Navneetha Bachu, the third founder-director, is also the first woman taekwondo trainer in India.
"Taekwondo is not just a sport. It empowers women by helping them to learn a self-defensive skill. TPL will educate and encourage all girls to take up this sport," Mrs Navneetha said.
Srishti Rana (Haryana Hunters), the Miss Asia Pacific World 2013, leads this brigade of women pathbreakers. The other lady franchise owners are Ruchita Mittal (Maharashtra Avengers), a diamond businesswoman, Shilpa Patel (Bengaluru Ninjas), an entrepreneur in hospitality, and Isha Patel (Chennai Strikers).
The other team owners present at the Meet and Greet were Shyam Patel (Delhi Warriors), owner of Global Sports, Allu Venkat Reddy (Hyderabad Gliders) Chairman of real estate giants iMark Developers, Vijay Kumar Bhansali (Gujarat Thunders), a social activist of international repute, and Bijit Gogoi (Assam Heroes), who is Mr India 2006.
Taekwondo, which finds its origins in South Korea and is a form of martial art that involves kicking and punching, is practised by over 20 million athletes in about 200 countries and is an Olympic sport.
Several well-known personalities attended the Meet and Greet event, including Suresh Chukkapalli, honorary Consul General of the Republic of Korea, CN Gopinath Reddy, Former DG of State of Andhra Pradesh, Rashmi Thakur, the Miss Asia International. (ANI)