PVL will be a game-changer, says Kochi Blue Spikers owner

Kochi Blue Spikers owner Thomas Muthoot expects the Pro Volleyball League to be game changer for the sport in Kerala where it has slipped down in popularity in the last few decades.

Kochi Blue Spikers owner Thomas Muthoot feels that PVL is a shot in the arm for Indian volleyball.   -  Special Arrangement

Pro Volleyball League team Kochi Blue Spikers' owner, the Muthoot Pappachan Group (MPG), has been in the forefront of sponsoring popular teams in football and cricket for the last few years. But the popularity of volleyball and its connect with the grassroots in the country persuaded Thomas Muthoot, the director of MPG, to own a team for the first time.

"Like football and cricket, volleyball is one of the most popular sport in India. It is the third most widely played team sport in India and has a rich legacy and strong patronage in both North and South India,’’ he said.

"Despite a huge fan base and popularity the game is largely ignored. The lack of support and training infrastructure has prevented our players from realising their true potential. With our association with the Kochi team we wish to support the sport of volleyball and raise its popularity.

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"The game connects  perfectly with our belief with that of our customers and it was the reason why we decided to support it,’’ he added.

Thomas Muthoot expects the Pro Volleyball League to be game changer for the sport in Kerala where it has slipped down in popularity in the last few decades.

"Kerala has a rich legacy and has produced the internationally acclaimed volleyball player Jimmy George. Our association with the PVL gives us opportunity to positively influence the growth of players by providing them with a perfect platform to excel.

"But it is critical to identify the right talent at the right time and our experience with grassroots level in football and cricket will put us in good stead. Our long term vision is to create sustainable volleyball sports development models in Kerala and in India," he said.

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Muthoot also feels that PVL is a shot in the arm for Indian volleyball and will play a vital role in helping it reach the next level in terms of popularity.

"The PVL can address major obstacles in the growth of sports in the country and provide money, exposure and international level compeition to the players. A professional league is needed for the game to attract the attention of the younger generation and make it relevant now,’’ he said.