Former outstanding volleyball organizer and national referee Rui A Carvalho, passed away yesterday at his residence, Velsao. He was 71 and leaves behind his wife and two daughters. The funeral took place on Monday.
Rui, former assistant engineer, Electricity Department, was the founder member and general secretary of Goa Volleyball Association (GVA) for over two decades right from its inception in 1965. He was also the founder member of Goa Amateur Athletic Association, now renamed Goa Athletic Association and Goa Football Referees Association (GFRA), having played a vital role in their formative stages.
Rui was synonymous with volleyball in Goa from mid-sixties and then seventies, eighties and early 90s, the game gaining such a popularity that it rivaled football. Those were the golden days of volleyball which saw the establishment of Senior Division and First Division for men and State Women’s League, with matches being played at the famous Massano de Amorim volleyball court with floodlights which were erected by him and Azad Maidan in Panjim with the annual government grants from the Goa, Daman Diu State Council of Sports being a pittance unlike now when money overflows but there are hardly any promotional, organisational activities except participation at nationals and international events.
The popularity of volleyball rose to such dizzy heights in those days that Margao’s Grace Youth Association and Vasco’s St Andrew’s Parish Council launched all-India volleyball championships on yearly basis which attracted thousands of spectators on daily basis. Such a glorious scene is yet to be replicated in Goa nowadays.
It was Rui who was instrumental in securing affiliation with the Volleyball Federation of India (VFI) and thus Goa fielded the state team for the first time at the nationals held in Bangalore. And subsequently, it became a regular affair with even the juniors being sent for nationals at a time when there were no government grants available for such teams under the then pattern of assistance.
For his stupendous honorary service, Rui was awarded the first State Jivababada Kerkar Award in volleyball for being an outstanding volleyball organizer in the State.
Rui was also deeply involved with athletics and the football referees movement at that time. He also became the second Goan to have qualified as a national volleyball referee. He was also associated with the formation of Goa Olympic Association (GOA) and was a member of the managing committee for a brief period. He vigorously pursued the case of GOA’s affiliation with the IOA at that time, but was not successful due to some constraints concerning payment of fees.
Alberto Colaco, SAFF general secretary, condoled the death of Rui whom he called a great volleyball organizer and also an ardent football referee. He was extremely passionate about volleyball and football refereeing, he added.
Ex- CM Ravi Naik, former IGP P V Sinari, ex-president of GVA and GAA, Kishor Narvekar, GVA vice-president and vice-chairman of Madgaum Urban Cooperative Bank, Louis F Pires, former GVA secretary and member of Beach Volleyball Council and GVA vice-president, Victor Gonsalves, president of Crown Club of Santa Cruz, former State volleyball coach Ramesh Lotlikar, coach Ladislau Gonsalves, Datta Vaigankar, ex-president of Kalapur SC, Rohidas Dadd Dessai of Cuncolim, Fortunato Braganza, Daniel Rodrigues, Ismael Mascarenhas, ex-volleyballers Bina Naik, Shankar Kalangutkar, Chandrakant Appu Vaigankar, Alfred Correia, Pachali Gonsalves, Cruz Fernandes, Uday Navelkar, Carmo Vaz, Alirio Fernandes, Lala, Ramanand Sardessai, Agnelo Mascarenhas also condoled the death of Rui. A wreath was placed on behalf of GVA president Irwin Soares. [H]