Meet Rahul K - The emerging attacker from Kolkata Thunderbolts
With a total of 64 points in the league stages, Rahul K has proved to be a perfect ally for the Thunderbolts’ experienced campaigners – Vinit Kumar and captain Ashwal Rai.
Rahul Ramesh K has been the standout performer for the defending champions Kolkata Thunderbolts in the 2023 Prime Volleyball League (PVL).
The 24-year-old, with a total of 64 points in the league stages, has proved to be a perfect ally for the Thunderbolts’ experienced campaigners – Vinit Kumar and captain Ashwal Rai.
Having been a part of the Thunderbolts setup since the inaugural edition of PVL last year, Rahul has turned up the heat this season with his fiery display on the court. He is also in the race to win the Emerging Player of the Year Award.
“It has been a brilliant season so far, both on the personal front and for the team. We have made it to the semifinals as planned and hope to do well from here,” he told The Bridge.
The Kerala-lad had an injury scare during the Kolkata Thunderbolts’ penultimate league stage contest against the Chennai Blitz and pulled out of play. He, however, returned to action for their last match against Ahmedabad Defenders.
“It was a very minor injury against Chennai Blitz. I could have carried on and played with it, but the team management preferred not to risk it,” he said.
Son of an army-man, Rahul K took to volleyball after watching the people in his village play the sport.
“Football is my favourtie sport. I did play it recreationally, but volleyball was more prevalent in my village. I used to watch them play and gradually got drawn into it because there were a lot of local volleyball tournaments happening,” he revealed.
The fact that his father himself played the sport, meant that he never had to spend his energy trying to convince his family of his sporting ambitions.
“My dad was an army-volleyball player, mother was a teacher. They never really forced me into academics and just let me be and play volleyball,” he explained.
Rahul was also an integral part of the Kerala team, which lifted the 2022 National Games gold after a big court-case against the state federation.
“That was a lot of suffering, before going into the National Games. But once we were cleared to play, we were very motivated to win because we knew if we had not won we would not have been able to show our face to anyone. That was a brilliant experience to recover from a court case and winning the gold medal,” he recalled.
Rahul spends his free-time watching the videos of overseas volleyball players on YouTube.
“The dream is to play for India and play against the Brazilian players. I spend a lot of time watching their videos online, I want to play against them someday,” he said.