Woman power to drive Kambala from this year

This year see women jockeys participating for the first time with Dakshina Kannada Kambala Academy planning to organise a training programme.

Published: 02nd June 2023 07:10 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd June 2023 07:10 AM   |  A+A-

Kambala is an annual buffalo race held in coastal districts of Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, and Kasargod. (File Photo | Shriram BN, EPS)

Express News Service

MANGALURU: Kambala, a traditionally male-dominated sport, may this year see women jockeys participating for the first time with Dakshina Kannada Kambala Academy planning to organise a training programme for them in August.

This comes after the Supreme Court order allowing Kambala, Jallikattu and bullock-cart races, upholding the amendments made by Karnataka, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.

Vijay Kumar Kanginamane, Kambala presenter, referee and former general secretary of the district Kambala committee, told The New Indian Express that 15 to 20 women are keen on participating in the training programme, and there are plans to train them as jockeys, flag-bearers and announcers.

“We have been training men as jockeys at our academy for many years. There are women enthusiasts who want to participate in Kambala. We will seek the help of coaches to train women after they undergo medical and fitness tests. We will ensure that all safety norms and dress codes are followed,” Kanginamane said.

The Kambala season begins in November and the committee is also planning to organise a separate race for women.

Kanginamane said, “We are planning to introduce technology, including a laser beam network system, to record the race from start to end to ensure transparency. But it needs funds and we have to look for donors. Also, our aim is to complete the Kambala event within 24 hours. Women won’t be allowed to complete with men in Kambala. However, we want to give women a chance for which we are planning separate races for them this year.” Presently, the state government provides `5 lakh for each Kambala event with an annual allocation of Rs 1 crore.


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