Though footvolley will be held as a demonstration game in Rio Olympics this year, the enthusiasm is no less for the three-member Indian team who are confident of giving their best performance in the event. This time 24 countries will be participating in the cultural event against eight countries which had taken part in the London Olympics in 2012.
India will be participating for the first time in the event based on its performance in Asian Footvolley tournament held in Thailand in May this year. Amid all this, Punjab has a reason to cheer. Eighteen-year-old Jashandeep Singh Sidhu from Barnala is the only one to represent Punjab in India’s Footvolley team. The other two are from Maharashtra.
“Since it will be a demo game in Rio Olympics, the Association is taking care of all expenditure for the players and we are hopeful that the sport will be included in 2020 Tokyo Olympics,” said Karan Avtar Kapil, secretary of Footvolley Association of India.
Talking about how he developed interest in the game, Sidhu said he was playing football since he was in Class 6 and when he was in Class 11 he to took up footvolley and started learning the sport.
Sharing a little trivia, his coach Ashok Sharma said, “The game was started first in 1962 in Brazil.” Talking about his achievements, Sidhu said he won a silver medal in 2013-14 in Punjab state games followed by another silver in the National Footvolley Tournament held in Karnal in 2014-15. The game is played in a set of two, with three or even four players on each side. The matches will be played from August 22 to 28 in Copacabana, the official beach stadium of Olympic games, said Avtar who will be accompanying the players. The team will leave India on August 14.