Early Life of Karunakarakurup Udayakumar
Karunakarakurup Udayakumar was born in the year 1960, at the coastal village of Mararikulam. This village is known for its famous Marari beach, in Alappuzha district of Kerala. His father's name was Parambil Vettil Karanakarakurup and Ammani Amma. Karunakarakurup Udayakumar started playing volleyball from an early age, beginning his career at Kalavur Sixes, a small local club in the locality.
Later, Karunakarakurup Udayakumar played for another local club, Mac, where his talents were first noticed by the public. After the schooling at a local school, Karunakarakurup Udayakumar joined St. Michaels College, Cherthalla and was soon inducted to the college team.
The performances of Karunakarakurup Udayakumar helped him to gain a berth in the State junior volleyball team which participated in the National Rural Games at Kolhapure, in the year 1976 and again, in 1978, at the Patiala junior nationals.
Karunakarakurup Udayakumar was soon made the captain of the Kerala Junior Team which was followed by an entry into the Indian national junior volleyball team which participated in the 1980 Asian Junior Volleyball Championships. In the year 1981, he was selected for the Indian Youth team for the World Youth Volleyball championships at Colorado Springs, United States of America. He earned a national senior team berth in 1982, when India hosted the Asian Games at New Delhi. However in the year 1986, Udayakumar won the bronze medal at the 1986 Asian Games in Seoul, Korea. Three years later, Karunakarakurup Udayakumar became the captain of Indian Volleyball Team to silver medal at the 1989 SAF Games. Udayakumar represented India in the Asian Senior volleyball championships at Tokyo in the year 1983 and at Kuwait in 1987 and played for India in three SAF Games. Udayakumar was active in club level professional volleyball, too. Opening with Kerala State Electricity Board team, he played for Travancore Titanium, before joining Kerala Police team, in 1985, where he ended his club career. In between, he also played for a professional team in Qatar for a while.
Later Career of Karunakarakurup Udaya Kumar
After retirement as a player, Karunakarakurup Udayakumar coached Dubai Police Team and was also active at the organizational level. He was a member of the organising committee for the 2013 National Games held at Thiruvanathapuram in November - December 2013. After that, he joined with his club commitments. He also joined with Kerala State Electricity Board and a short stint at Travancore Titanium. He joined Kerala Police as a Deputy Superintendent of Police and rose in ranks to become the Aide de Camp to the Governor of Kerala. Karunakarakurup Udayakumar played for the Kerala Police Volleyball team in his early times. Karunakarakurup Udayakumar is the former captain of Indian National Volleyball Team.
Awards of Karunakarakurup Udaya Kumar
Karunakarakurup Udaya Kumar was the member of Indian Volleyball Team, including Jimmy George and Cyril C. Valloor. He won Bronze medal in the 1986 Asian Games held, which was held in Seoul. In 1991, Karunakarakurup Udaya Kumar was conferred the Arjuna Award, Indian highest prestigious award in sports for his contribution to the Indian volleyball. He was also a recipient of G. V. Raja Award, the highest Kerala State Government sports honour. The Government of India, in 1991, honoured his services to Indian volleyball by bestowing on him, the second highest Indian sports award, the Arjuna Award.
Death of Karunakarakurup Udaya Kumar
On September 19, 2014, Karunakarakurup Udaya Kumar suffered a cardiac arrest and died in Hospital. He was married to Lekha, a teacher at the Christ Nagar School, and the couple had two daughters, Anjali and Pallavi.
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