Wealthy Gauteng businessman and philanthropist, Logan Naicker, a former star volleyball player in KZN in the 1980’s,is taking his Aqua Darshan Giants over 40’s volleyball team to participate in the challenging European Masters Tournament in Turin, Italy from 29 July to 4 August. The fourteen man team will be participating in both the indoor and beach volleyball formats of the sport. The team’s trip to Italy is funded by Naicker.
“This is the first stage of my campaign to take my team to participate in as many masters volleyball tournaments as possible around the world”, says the Aqua Darshan boss. Naicker has enlisted the services of veteran volleyball coach from Pretoria,G.P Fourie to prepare his team for the upcoming tournament in Italy.
Naicker went on to say that with a star studded line up comprising the likes of former SA National team stalwarts, Freedom Chiya, Leslie Naidoo (both from Cape Town) and mercurial playmaker Ryan ‘Spitz’ Lahldas (KZN) taking care of servicing his attackforce, he is tipping Aqua Darshan Giants to reach the podium as medallists at the Italian Masters Volleyball Tournament.
Naicker shared his reasons for returning to the sport after an absence of more than two decades. “When I relocated to Gauteng in 1989 to expand my business empire, Starlings Volleyball Club snapped up my services as a middle blocker as my two metres tall frame at the net was daunting for opposition blockers,” said Naicker.
However, the pressures of business limited his time for serious training demanded by top flight volleyball, leading Naicker to opt for drag racing as a pastime in 1993.
According to his wife Loulou Naicker:“ Logan’s passion and will to win on the circuit made him SA Drag Racing champion over a three year period.”
Logan added: “It was a costly sport especially when competing on the international circuit, but money cannot buy the adrenalin rush I experience every time that I race to the finish line.”
While Logan Naicker still races on local and international circuits he and his wife decided to form a volleyball club named after his still water brand, Aqua Darshan to give back to the sport that made him a household name in the 1980’s in KZN.
“My frequent reminiscing about my glory days as a middle blocker/attacker for Watsonia and thereafter Liberte in the golden era of the 1980’s in KZN where inter-club clashes especially among teams from Tongaat and Chatsworth were high powered encounters similar to ‘test matches’ between countries, motivated my wife and I to form two volleyball teams, Aqua Rebels and Aqua Giants in April 2019 to compete locally and in international masters’ tournaments.
With financial injection from the philanthropist, masters volleyball in the country is set to reach dizzy heights.
Naicker concluded by saying that: “ Two weeks after we return from the Italian Masters Volleyball Tournament we will be heading to Durban for the Ethekwini National Masters Tournament where I am confident we will be crowned champions.”