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Mumbai Gladiators Ready to break through the traffic

Life is busy in Mumbai and for the bunch of gladiators that take time away from their work and daily business, a trip to the Oval at the Churchgate is a near pilgrimage. Most of these men ride the local train from far away suburbs to come meet their team members for a gruelling session of workouts under the watchful eyes of Vaibhav Patil.

Vaibhav cut his teeth around the gymnasiums of central Mumbai, where he found thriving joy as a body builder. His burly physique allowed access to the world of Rugby players in and around Mumbai, before he found his way further along the road as a coach in the nascent EFLI.

Vaibhav is putting his team through the paces at the Oval and sometimes at the Bombay Gymkhana where they train patiently in preparation for the league. Word is that the matches shall be played this winter across the country – exact dates though are still in the works.

American football is marked for its contrasting demands on the players practicing this demanding craft. You could fit in a high school student in the space between an outside linebacker and a middle linebacker.

The former is typically lanky and agile while the latter is stodgy and shorter. The outside line is expected to force the pace, while those in the middle are expected to have the strength to stand their ground in the face of a brutally physical battle with their opponents.

The sport demands power, strength, agility and speed – and there aren’t many athletes who can sweat hard enough to learn how to gain and use them on the field. It is no wonder that the practitioners of this craft will be some of the elite athletes our nation can produce as the years roll by.

The quarter back is the soul of a football team and Mumbai has Viraj Kerkar performing this role in the coming season. Milind Kohri is the second QB and equally adept.

The owners, lead by Abraham Booty will hope that their team will train hard and long to prepare for the gruelling battles that lay ahead of them in the Indian winter.

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