Ramana Rao, Shyam Sundar Rao to chair SAI-appointed selection panels for national volleyball teams

Having kept the annual affiliation of the Volleyball Federation of India (VFI), affiliation on hold for non-adherence to the National Sports Code, the government through the Sports Authority of India (SAI) on Monday appointed selection committees to pick the volleyball teams to represent India in the upcoming international events.

The independent committee of eminent athletes includes prominent names like Arjuna Award and Dronacharya Award winners A Ramana Rao (for women) and Shyam Sunder Rao (men).

The committee in its first meeting selected the two team managements.

S Dakshinamoorty, a certified FIVB Level III coach with 35 years of experience, is the head coach of the senior men’s team with former India captain Chander Singh and Abhijeet Bhattacharya as assistant coaches while K Kamaraj has been named as a trainer. T Augustine will be the head coach of the Under-20 men’s team while PC Pandiyan will be the head coach of the Under-18 men.

T Balachandran, also a member of the women’s selection committee, was named as head coach of the senior women’s team while Vaishali Phadtare and S.R Jewel as assistant coaches. Dr. Ajay Jangra will be the head coach of the Under-20 women’s team and Sunny Joseph will be the head coach of the Under-18 women.

The two selection committees have been tasked with picking the under-20 teams first and SAI has also selected various criteria for the players.

“The selection committee will select the final list of the athletes that will be part of the National Coaching Camp and will represent India at various international events of the year 2022 including the Asian Games,” said SAI in a release on Monday.

The selection committee for the men’s teams, headed by former India player Shyam Sundar Rao, includes S Dakshinamoorthy, Dr. M, H Kumara (FIVB Level III coach and former chief coach of the Indian junior team), Dr. Dalel Singh (former India captain and Arjuna Awardee), Pritam Singh Chouhan (former coach) and Augustine TA (former coach) as members.

The selection committee for the various women’s teams’, headed by A Ramana Rao, comprises PV Ramana (member of the bronze-winning team at the 1986 Asian Games), Dr. Ajay Jangra (Level II coach), Vaishali Phadtare (former player and head coach of junior national teams and assistant coach of senior team), T Balachandran (former coach), Salomi Ramu (eminent player).

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