Manorama Club Award: The smashing success story of Kalady Volleyball Club

Kalady Volleyball Club
The Kalady Volleyball Club is credited with popularising the sport in the region. Photo: Manorama

Kalady, a small village near Karanamana in Thiruvananthapuram district, is known for its rich volleyball tradition. The Kalady Volleyball Club, a famous name in the volleyball circuit in Kerala and one of the six finalists for the Manorama Sports Club Award 2020-21, is credited with popularising the sport in the region. The fifty-year-old club has a passionate fan base that turns out in heavy numbers during the tournaments hosted by it. 


Founded in 1970 by four young volleyball enthusiasts living near the Kuthirakshan Thampuran Temple, Kalady Volleyball Club gained prominence over the years and became a force to reckon with. The first tournament organised by the club was a huge success. Top players from across the state attended the event, representing different departmental teams, and thousands of people thronged the makeshift court adjacent to the temple to watch them perform. The grand success of the tournament, held in connection with Onam celebrations, prompted the organisers to make it an annual event. In 1997, a permanent gallery was set up using the Corporation's People's Plan Programme fund. After floodlights were installed in 2011 with the MLA's Local Area Development fund, loud shouts and thuds of spikes started reverberating through the night in Kalady. Interestingly, it is the same body that governs both the Kuthirakshan Thampuran Temple and the Kalady Volleyball Club. The club is also active in charity. 


Most of the academy products are those who took up the sport after being inspired by the likes of Jimmy George, the first Indian to play professional volleyball successfully in Europe. There are many shining examples of the success of the Kalady Volleyball Club's training programme, and one among them is India international Ajith Lal. 


The club regularly conducts a two-month summer vacation training camp for children. Those who catch the attention of coaches will be given professional training on a daily basis. The club is well on course to realising a long-cherished dream: a residential academy on its premises.

"The preliminary works on constructing a building for the academy with aid from Corporation are under way. We are hopeful of launching the academy at the start of next academic year," said club president R Ajith Kumar and secretary Sajith S G Nair. 

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