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The inaugural edition of Pro Volleyball league starts today with an aim to turn India into pipeline for players to not only get exposure but to grow and develop as young men.
Loyola College, Chennai graduate Sita Rama Raju spoke with Fisto Sports about his influences and loves when it comes to the game of volleyball as he is heading into his professional year at Black Hawks Hyderabad.
Tell us a little bit about your background. And how you developed a passion for volleyball?
Hailing from a middle class family, I had no in depth knowledge about sports prior taking up volleyball, I started my game in sports hostels Visakhapatnam, due to pure passion and ever since I’ve just had one dream, representing the country.
Since India does not have any prominent names in the field of volleyball as it does in sports like, say, cricket or hockey, what made you choose volleyball and who has been your inspiration?
Maybe, but Volleyball is my passion and I wish to perform exceedingly well at the peak level, with tournaments such as Pro Volleyball League coming on I am sure it will gain the attention it deserves. Deepesh Sinha from Chattisgarh who is also the blocker at the Asian games is my inspiration.
What position do you play on the team?
I am a blocker.
Who is your favorite volleyball player and why?
Deepesh is my favorite player and he is the best blocker in my knowing, but apart from his gaming skills I’ve liked him as an individual. Apart from that, many of my senior players as well, I picked up different pieces from all these different players.
How did your volleyball career shaped during Loyola college time, what the sport has taught you at the time?
Loyola has been a second home to me. I’ve got good support from the management and it has structured me into what I am today. I even stayed there after getting a job at Railways and I am immensely grateful to it.
What’s that best match you have ever played? And it was against which team?
I have so many memorable moments but I would choose the Inter-Railway match with ICF.
Looking back at your school/college days and now, how did you think you evolved as a player and in what area do you feel you have improved the most? And what’s something you want to add to your game or get better at as you go into PRO Volleyball League, playing for the Black Hawks Hyderabad?
Really I am so happy to taken to Black Hawks Hyderabad for camp. I think in the Pro Volleyball, we have to be in a best way possible to compete, because the team is so small, and we all have to support each other to win. And regard to improvement of my game, I think, I have improved on my blocking skills but still lots of work needs to be done to master it. If I improve on these, it will help me be a more complete player and ultimately help my team.
Do you think the inception of PRO Volleyball League will be a huge hit that is required for the progression of volleyball in India?
We have a lot of work to do. We need innovative coaches that can come up with creative ways to use our players, especially for the national team. I think Pro Volleyball comes at a perfect time; we have to utilize it in a good way to make a strong statement to the game that lacking some major attention in the country.
How did the chance of playing for PVL (Black Hawks Hyderabad) came up?
I believe that God gave me a lot of talent to play this game and I had to make the most of it. I always loved playing this game, so much so that at times I thought of nothing else but playing volleyball.
What is the best feeling about being blocker? What is the worst?
My game is that I love blocking and attack at very high pace and help my teammates to score well when needed, I can make plays and I feel like I make my teammates better and get everybody involved.
What are some of your medium/short term goals? (within the next year or so)
My ultimate goal for volleyball would be to play for the Indian Nationals team. I know it will take a lot of practice & hard work to get to whatever my next level of volleyball will be. I hope the Pro Volleyball League will push me hard to be a better player and I always look forward to playing the best.
Sport other than Volleyball: Basketball
Favorite movie about sports: Dangal
What’s your favorite volleyball move: Play first tempo