Puducherry: Pondicherry University hosted a one-day volleyball tournament adapted for the convenience of visually challenged student players. The tournament is significant in the annals of the University as this was for the first time such a tournament was held on its campus for such students. The host’s volleyball team of the visually impaired too was among the 16 participating teams from across Tamil Nadu.
The tournament with special rules was organised by the visually challenged students of the Pondicherry University with support from the Student Council and the University Administration.
“This is an appreciable effort on the part of the Pondicherry University. It is a great opportunity for us. The University has provided us a productive platform to showcase our sports skills. We are thankful to the organisers and University Administration. This is a memorable experience. The sad part is that government is not taking any effort to bring out our innate talent. Government should encourage us in sports field also," said Dhinakaran, a player of the Villupuram Danger Warriors team. He is pursing his M Phil in Chennai.
“There is no coaching camp for this adapted volleyball tournament. We had prepared for it individually. We are not getting enough support from our college and place, nevertheless the Pondicherry University gave us a chance to explore our talents," Mahendran.M, an Erode Lions player, told Onmanorama.
Mahendran's team has been active for three years in Tamil Nadu. "Till now, no visually challenged volleyball tournament has been organised at the national and state level," Mahendran claimed while also thanking the organisers at the PU.
As internal and semester examinations were on the gallery was not jam-packed. However that didn't prevent the players to perform to the hilt and they proved that they are excellent not only in education but also in sports activities.
"I am happy even though the audience is sparse. With media promotion a greater number of people will get attracted to this initiative," Dhinakaran said. .
Participating players received intense support from the Administration in the form of accommodation and ground facility for the conduct of the tournament.
Shops outside the University like Minto Mint, S.K Stores and Golden Bakery were the sponsors.
The contribution of student volunteers Ramesh, Saravanan, Arivazhagan, Kumar, Venkatachalam and Karthi for the organisation of the event was praiseworthy.
In the finals Tanjavur Danger Warriors eclipsed Erode Lions.
Overall 15 teams of visually challenged volleyball players are across Tamil Nadu. Of them the top 6 teams had participated in the tournament conducted by the Pondicherry University.
There must be 8 members in a team. B1 (Blind1) category should consist of 100% fully blind students, whereas B2 (Blind2) category should have 75% partially blind students.
In an 8-member team, 6 students will play the tournament and 2 will be substitutes. Among the 6, 2 players must be from B2 category and 4 players should be from the B1 category. Among the two substitute players, one must be from B1 and other must be from B2.
The eyes of B1 category players will be tied up by using a piece of black cloth.
Players sitting on the left and right of the ground are from the B1 category. B2 players must stand all through the tournament.
The playing net is lower in adapted volleyball.