Bengaluru Torpedoes' P. Rohith says he is excited to play his first match in the RuPay Prime Volleyball League (PVL) when his team takes on Kochi Blue Spikers at Gachibowli Stadium here on Tuesday night.
"Our team has been practicing together for a while and we have a good mix of experience and youth on our side. We have the team to put up good performances in the tournament," he said.
"Volleyball isn't as popular as cricket in India and volleyball players aren't that famous. With the PVL being broadcast on television, the audience can see us in action and start to recognise who we are. That way we have a chance to become popular. We are hoping that we become famous players one day," Rohith said.
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"My shoe size is 13, but I had to wear shoes of size 12 for a long time because that was the highest shoe size available in India. I didn't know that there are shoes of size 13 as well for a long time. After I started working for BPCL, I started asking my friends who lived abroad to send shoes of size 13 to me here. And, whenever I travel abroad for tournaments, I buy 4-5 pairs of shoes not just for myself, but for a few other players as well.," he said of the challenges he faced in playing the sport.
For his part, Kochi's Deepesh Kumar Sinha said his team would look to bounce back after going down 4-1 to Hyderabad Black Hawks in its last match.
"We were quite confident about our chances before our first match against Hyderabad Black Hawks. We all put in our 100 percent but unfortunately, we couldn't be on the right side of the result. However, the confidence is still high within the group and we will try to better our performance in the next game," he said.
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"After completing the 12th standard, I had to go away from home to carry out volleyball training as there was not much scope for volleyball in Dantewada, the place where I grew up. There was not much craze and volleyball players in the district," the central-blocker said.
"I had gone to Gwalior to play the School Nationals. One coach in the tournament saw me play and asked me to start practicing at a stadium in Bhilai, Chhattisgarh. I practised there for two years. I learned all the basic volleyball techniques there. Thereafter, I moved up through the ranks in volleyball," he explained.