Kohlapur: A city in southwestern Maharashtra, is fast emerging as a hub of sports in India. The city recently witnessed a packed football stadium, with around 18,000 spectators flocking to watch a Santosh Trophy game between Maharashtra and West Bengal. The All India Football Federation (AIFF) President, Kalyan Chaubey, was so impressed with the enthusiasm and passion of the crowd that he took to Twitter to express his admiration, stating that Indian football has “huge potential and popularity to grow”.
Kolhapur is not just about football, however. The city is known for its rich sporting heritage and has produced a number of world-class athletes across different sports. From international shooters like Tejaswini Sawant, Rahi Sarnobat, and Swapnil Kusale, to age-group national tennis champions like Sandesh Kurale and Aishwarya Jadhav, Kolhapur has a long and proud history of sporting excellence.
One of the city’s most famous sons is Khashaba Jadhav, a wrestler who won a bronze medal at the 1952 Helsinki Games and became independent India’s first individual Olympic medallist. In more recent times, Virdhawal Khade, a bronze medallist swimmer at the 2010 Asiad, and Aniket Jadhav, a footballer who was part of India’s U-17 FIFA World Cup squad and currently plays for Odisha FC in the Indian Super League, have continued the city’s sporting tradition.
In conclusion, Kolhapur is a city with an atmosphere for sports, and its rich sporting heritage, combined with its passion for sports, makes it a hub for athletic opportunities. From football to shooting, wrestling to tennis, Kolhapur is a city that is sure to produce more world-class athletes in the years to come.