This 21-year-old from Warangal is preparing to play and win in woodball 

Adarsh also has two research papers to his credit and two short books as well. He also formed the Immovable Youth Society to help youngsters channelise their potential. Read on to find out more 
Adarsh Kandika | (Pic: Adarsh Kandika)
Adarsh Kandika | (Pic: Adarsh Kandika)

Born in Chennur, a village in Warangal, woodball has taken Adarsh Kandika to Pune, Malaysia and Thailand and now, by the way of participating in the Asian Games 2022, he will be going to China too. It was his father Anjaiah Kandika who chanced upon this game and introduced Adarsh to it back when he was in class X. And if you haven't Googled it already, allow us to tell you what woodball is all about. A mallet (think of it as a bat) is used to pass the ball through the gates (three bottled-shaped blocks or goals). It is along the lines of golf, but different. "It is all about the mindset, you have to really concentrate," says the 21-year-old. It is attention to this detail that saw him through the nationals held in Pune straight to the Malaysian International Championship and eighth World Cup in Thailand in 2018. Last year, though, was a blank, just like most of us. But this sportsman is sharpening his skills to prepare for the Asian Games in 2022.

"The competition in South India is much less than in North India for this lesser-known sport. We have only 12-13 national champions of woodball here," says Adarsh, who managed to bag a bronze in the National Championship 2018 and silver in 2019. Going for gold in the next year? Only time will tell. When it comes to international performances, the grounds in Thailand were new and posed a challenge while in Malaysia, relentless rains served as an impediment. But currently, Adarsh is preparing for any adversaries, both foreseen and unforeseen, that he might encounter. Now that he is back in Chennur from Hyderabad, where he pursued his Bachelor of Arts in History, Geography and Public Administration from Noble Degree & PG College, he is taking the assistance of two coaches and he practises for eight to ten hours every day. "One to two hours are also dedicated to meditation so that I am able to stabilise my mind," says the youngster who hopes that his name becomes synonymous with woodball.  

Adarsh Kandika | (Pic: Adarsh Kandika)   

Currently, Adarsh also has his eyes set on cracking the civil services exams. He did attempt it once before, but now feels much more prepared to face one of the toughest exams in India in June 2021. "It is my father who has been my inspiration, he has inspired me to strike the right balance while pursuing what I chose. Even my mother has been a strong pillar of support," he says and adds, "The game is my passion and working for the society is my ambition."  

What is woodball?
- A wooden mallet is used to strike the wooden balls through the gates
- There are no surface requirements, it can be played on grass, sand or asphalt
- Three bottle-shaped blocks serve as gates
- Like golf, the player who completes the course with the fewest strokes wins

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