Recently inaugurated facility fans region’s passion for volleyball

What football is to Malappuram, volleyball is to Nadapuram. International spikers such as Tom Jose, M.T. Azeez, and Yasar emerged out of this all-consuming obsession for the game.

The people here were euphoric when the Nadapuram panchayat authorities decided a few years ago to build an indoor stadium, probably the first such under any panchayat in the State, to further encourage the region’s love for its favourite sport.

After five years, the stadium has become a reality. It was opened for the public by Sports Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan on May 26. “It was a long cherished dream of the people here,” says Sooppy Narikkatteri, panchayat president and a patron of the sport. While the panchayat provided Rs.2.1 crore, the rest was donated by forums including the State Sports Council (Rs.50,00,000), Nadapuram block panchayat (Rs.15,00,000) and the MP’s fund (25,00,000) to meet the total estimate of Rs.3 crore. The facility was constructed in an acre of land purchased by the panchayat. It houses two volleyball courts, one basketball court, and four shuttle badminton courts, apart from a conference hall, green room, accommodation facilities, and comfort stations.

The indoor stadium, which can accommodate over 3,000 people, provides parking facility for over 100 cars on its premises. Inaugurating the facility, Mr. Radhakrishnan also announced a financial aid of Rs.84 lakh for the acoustic treatment of the stadium. “The facility has been deemed even by national players as one of the best in the State,” said Mr. Narikkatteri.

Sport enthusiasts and organisers such as Abbaz Kanekkal are hopeful that the development would bring more championships, including national-level volleyball tourneys, to Nadapuram. The inaugural day itself witnessed a match between One Touch Qatar and Winners Nadapuram. The facility is also expected encourage young talents in sporting disciplines including badminton and basketball too.

The authorities are going ahead with plans to train young children in different events at the stadium.