We are on the cusp of a golden period for Indian Volleyball : Akhin Jas
In the late 2000s, a young Kerala boy with a 6’8 height and a boyish grin found himself lost and demotivated in life. He had set out to achieve his dreams of pursuing a career in Volleyball, but found himself under the crushing wheels of not having the right mentor in life. Upon entering G.E Sridharan’s volleyball academy in Coimbatore, little did he know that he would go on to become one of India’s best-ever blockers.<br><br><br>That ‘lost kid’ was Akhin Jas, one of Indian Volleyball’s finest and most hardened blockers who became a household name after starring for Chennai Spartans in season 1 of RuPay Pro Volleyball League. <br><br><br>Here are some excerpts from a candid interview where the happy-go-lucky Chennai Spartans star talks about his most positive influences in life, India’s chances in world volleyball, how he and Jerome Vinith motivate each other, and a lot more! <br><br><br>Post Season 1 of RuPay PVL<br><br><br>Life has changed for me in a big way, of course. I get to interact with world-class players and staff on a daily basis, and I am much more motivated. We, the players, are also more known now! For example, I was watching a cricket game at a Premier League recently, and two players came up to me and asked me whether I was ‘that’ Chennai Spartans star. I was honestly shocked, even cricketers recognize us now! <br><br><br>It is up to us players and officials to make sure that we become the channels of change. For example, when I am invited as a guest at invitational tournaments, kids and youngsters come up to me and ask me about the game, about the League. I make sure I help them out as much as possible. So, we players need to use our privilege to further the benefits of the game.<br><br><br>Future of Indian Volleyball<br><br><br>I think these two-three years down the line will be the golden days for Indian volleyball, in terms of opportunity. We have a foreign coach, a world-class physical trainer too. We are also learning new training methods from our foreign teammates. I believe we can become a top team in Asia. But the most important thing is that all of us, the players, are very excited about this ongoing ‘revolution’.<br><br><br>Early struggles<br><br><br>I got the push to pursue Volleyball pretty late in life as people told me that my height would make me a good Volleyball player. But starting late meant getting a good coach wasn’t easy. As a result, I kept changing college after college. The person behind motivating me was Muhammad Bahri and he is the only reason I started volleyball. However, my career finally found a direction upon entering Sridharan Sir’s (G.E. Sridharan) academy in Coimbatore. It was life-changing and brought me here where I am today. <br><br><br>On friendship with Jerome Vinith<br><br><br>It is all professional when we play each other. We understand our roles with respect to that. Otherwise, off the field, it has been a hell of a journey with him. From starting our playing days together at Moradabad back in 2013 to today, it’s been amazing. We do not even talk every day, but we share a beautiful understanding. We help each other whenever one of us needs a little push, a little motivation. I regard him as my best friend.
RuPay Pro Volleyball League
An initiative of Baseline Ventures India Pvt. Ltd and Volleyball Federation of India, RuPay Pro Volleyball League aims to transform the sporting landscape of the country by elevating the world’s fifth most popular sport to the league of the most followed sports in the coming times. The first season of the league will see 6 teams playing a total of 18 matches in Chennai and Kochi, and will be broadcasted on Sony Six, Sony Ten 3 and online platform Sony Liv.
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