Former International volleyball player and Arjuna award winner K Udayakumar died in Thiruvananthapuram at Friday noon following a massive cardiac arrest. Udayakumar, 54, had been serving as Aides-de-Camp to successive Kerala governors since 2002.
He had been a member of the India volleyball team that bagged bronze in the Seoul Asian Games of 1986.
A few hours before death, Udayakumar told a TV channel, “For everything in my life, I am indebted to volleyball.’’ On the day the 17th edition of Asian Games begins, Udayakumar recalled his Asian Games days 22 years back and talked about the prospects of Indian team in Incheon.
Udayakumar, who rose as a player from a local club in his native place Alappuzha, had been a prominent Indian volleyballer in late 1970’s and 1980’s. He had led the Kerala and Indian teams of volley ball in several state and national level events.
Udayakumar, who joined the State police Department, had been member of the police team that bagged Federation Cup and all Indian volleyball tournament for several years.
A contemporary of the late volleyball player Jimmy George, Udayakumar had represented the country in South Asian Federation games and Asian Games. Both had been members of the bronze-winning Indian team of the Asian Games in 1986.
He had been the captain of the Indian team that bagged silver in the South Asian Federation (SAF) games of 1989. He also represented the country in the SAF games of 1991. In the same year, the country honoured him with Arjuna award. For a brief period, he had worked as a coach for the Dubai police team. In 1997, he returned to Kerala as the coach of Kerala team.
He has been a member of the organizing committee of the next National Games slated to be held in Kerala. He is survived by wife and two daughters.