Sivaprasad set to join national handball team

The former Kerala handball team captain told TNIE that he was surprised to receive a call-up to  the national team. 

Published: 18th January 2022 06:31 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th January 2022 06:31 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

KOCHI: Handball player Sivaprasad S is all set to don the national jersey. Packing his bags at his house near Pravachambalam in Thiruvananthapuram, Sivaprasad is eager to step on court to represent the country in the 20th Asian Championship slated to be held from January 18 to 31 at Dammam, Saudi Arabia.  The former Kerala handball team captain told TNIE that he was surprised to receive a call-up to  the national team. 

On his way towards the international airport in his friend’s car to catch the flight which he booked at his own expense to join the rest of the team in Delhi, he says, “Even though we are also wearing the blue Indian jersey and playing for our country, we are unknown to media or get sidelined in some 50 words in the newspaper. In our state also, only cricket or football players are valued and little do people know that we do exist. I am not telling you about stardom but the need to give respect and recognition for the game that we play for the country after practising with limited resources. I am very excited to get selected.” 

He has been in the game for the past 22 years since the age of 10. Sivaprasad has devoted himself fully to the game and has played in about 50 national tournaments across the country. He also has the experience of being the Kerala handball captain from 2013 to 2016 and in 2018. Though happy to get a space in the national team, Sivaprasad said his dream is to get a secured job.

“Being a national player is a dream come true for me. But life does not end there as for players like us after years, the only mode of livelihood is a permanent job that the government allocates us through sports quota. The partiality towards various players and games must be stopped. Every player wears the national or state jerseys with a passion to play for their homeland and they should not be ignored,” says Sivaprasad who is a right-hander at 4 left back in position on the handball court. He also shares his distress on the state government’s ignorance towards many players like him in providing secured jobs. 

“We play for our state in various games. Even though I was selected in the national team, there is no recognition. The yardstick they keep for sports quota jobs for individuals and team players is the number of medals and that is unscientific.  They should consider the tournaments and experience performing in group events. As time passes, many have crossed the age bar also,” he said.


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