“It's a landmark in Indian volleyball,” observed Walter Davaram while explaining the salient features of the Indian Volley League (IVL), the second leg of which is slated to get underway here on Saturday.

What Mr. Davaram, the organising committee president, was endeavouring to stress at the media briefing on Tuesday in relation to the event to be staged by Nellai Friends VC, was the significance of IVL in giving the audience an “Indian perception.”

He added that the teams in combat were not associated with any State or region but purely an assembly of players from different areas.

“It is an experiment that must succeed,” Mr. Davaram noted. He was particularly happy about the IVL becoming part of the Nellai Friends' Golden Jubilee celebrations.

The team is regarded as the oldest club in the city. Volleyball Federation of India Secretary-General K. Murugan, explained the efforts of the federation to enhance the financial benefits to the players and the plans on the anvil to enlarge the range and scope of the IVL from next year with grater foreign participation, including coaches.

He added that VFI was implementing the direction of the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) in this regard. With more sponsors looming large on the horizon, Mr. Murugan assured the IVL was poised for greater success in the coming years.

He also thanked Nellai Friends, the only club unit holding an edition in the programme.

Chennai Spikers co-sponsor and Nellai Friends Vice-President C. Sakthikumar sought the media support to popularise the sport and make the IVL a permanent fixture in the Indian volleyball calendar.

The Chennai edition of IVL is sponsored by Panimalar Engineering and SAIL.

The winner will receive Rs. 1 lakh, while the second and third teams will get Rs. 60,000 and Rs. 40,000 respectively. Chennai Spikers takes on Karnataka Bulls in the opening match on June 4.

Dr. N. Sundaradevan, Principal Secretary, Industries, will be chief guest on the opening day.

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