The holding company of ISL outfit Kerala Blasters have diversified in new sport in the European nation.
Following a successful foray into football with Kerala Blasters Football Club (KBFC), Blasters Sports Ventures Private Limited (BSVPL), the parent company of KBFC has announced its venture into volleyball with the ‘Radnicki Blasters’. The team will participate in the Serbian First Division tournaments. This partnership, with the renowned Serbian Club Radnicki Belgrade, will help discover volleyball talents from across Kerala, one of the traditional powerhouses of the game in the country. It will further bring in technical expertise, training infrastructures, support and an international exposure to budding talents from all around the state.
Serbia, one of the core teams in the FIVB Volleyball Nations League, has a strong legacy in sports, especially Volleyball. The country’s women’s national volleyball team won a silver medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics and were crowned champions of the 2018 FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship, while the men’s team won a gold at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney and a bronze at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.
In 2016, the national men’s team were Champions of the FIVB World League for the first time. Serbia has also been crowned European champions thrice (2001, 2011, 2019) in the men’s category and thrice (2011, 2017, 2019) in the women’s category as well, apart from several silver and bronze medals won by both teams in the past.
“Sports to us, is a medium of empowerment and one of the most important socio-cultural learning experience for the athletic fraternity. Over the past six years, we’ve learnt of the passion that the state of Kerala has towards football and sports. Our time here, has only helped us realise the state’s fervour towards Volleyball, a sport that is equally prominent among men and women.
This motivated us to introduce Radnicki Blasters, to identify talents from the state, provide unique opportunities and build a platform to prove their excellence,” says Nikhil Bhardwaj, co-owner, Blasters Sports Ventures Private Ltd. “We are delighted to join hands with Radnicki Belgrade, a club that has deep roots in volleyball. With well-defined objectives, we have designed an array of activities including cultural exchange programmes and coaching masterclasses to benefit the volleyball players in Kerala, as part of our association,” he adds.
Equally excited are the team at Radnicki Belgrade about their association with the Blasters, “Radnicki Belgrade is a club with a rich tradition in one of the most popular sports in Serbia, volleyball. We are honoured and thrilled to partner with Blasters Sports Ventures Private Ltd. on this wonderful project of growing the sport of Volleyball in Kerala. The team at BSVPL is equally committed to sports as us, and we look forward to a long-term relationship. In future, our club will be named Radnicki Blasters, and our athletes-both the first team and academy players, will wear the jersey ‘Radnicki Blasters’ with great pride and an even bigger responsibility.” says Nikola Biverovic, Sports Director, Radnicki Belgrade, while speaking of the partnership.