From India to Degerbyhallen with feather-light steps
Themove to Skellefteå was a smash hit .
Badminton fanatic Rajesh Alamurifrom India has found his home. Not least in Degerbyhallen.
- "Skellefteåis the best place I have ever lived," he says.
Rajesh grew up in the port city of Kakinada in south-east India. Thanks to his profession - he works in battery construction - he has already experienced many places in the world. For five years he moved around the United States: New York, California, Phoenix, Michigan and Texas. It was there that an unusual request was made: Did he want to move halfway across the globe, all the way up to northern Sweden?
- One of Northvolt's recruiters saw me on LinkedIn and contacted me. I thought: Why not? I knew that the Nordics had high ratings in terms of both standard of living and level of education. It seemed like a really good place to live," he says.
He moved to Skellefteå in July 2022. His wife Jyothi still lives in the US.
- "We have to arrange her residence permit. So I have to wait a few more months to be with her," he says.
Apart from that important piece of the puzzle, Rajesh is enjoying his new life in Skellefteå. "It's partly due to the job, which is a big part of life. But the other part is perhaps even more important: Badminton!
- "I would say that thanks to the badminton community here in Skellefteå, it's the best place I've ever lived," he says.
The love for the sport of badminton started back home in India when Rajesh was doing his bachelor's degree.
- There was an outdoor badminton court at the university and we played every day after school. Then I got my first job in Bangalore and moved there. It was a big city and I hardly knew anyone there. One of my friends took me to a badminton court, and we started playing. It became part of my identity," he says.
Since then, Rajesh plays badminton every chance he gets.
- "It is an easy sport to get good at. It never gets boring!
The fact that there was a badminton hall in Degerbyn was actually a prerequisite for moving here, he says with a smile.
- During the interview process, they said that the job could be in Västerås or Skellefteå. I googled and made sure that both places had a badminton facility!
Once there, Rajesh quickly made contact with several people at Skellefteå Badminton Club.
- They said: "Just come and join and have fun". That's what I love about my club! They are so welcoming. I got some colleagues from Northvolt and we started playing," he says.
Today he goes to the hall four times a week or more. "Badminton has become a big and important part of my life.
- It is where I draw the line between work and private life. I always try to play as soon as I stop working. I go to the club, play, and then my free time starts. That way I don't have to bring the stress I might have at work home with me.
Now he has plans for a tournament for all his colleagues - a Northvolt Open.
- 'I want to introduce more people to this sport. But it's a big project, with many people working in shifts. We hope to make it happen," he says.
Is there room for anything else in your life besides work and badminton? Rajesh smiles.
- "People make fun of me for only doing two things. But at home I read a lot too, usually 4-6 books at a time. And I'm a vegetarian and cook a lot. And my wife is 4 000 miles away, so there are a lot of video calls.
Facts: Rajesh Alamuri
Age: 34 years old.
Family: Wife Jyothi in Louisville, Kentucky.
Lives in: Skellefteå.
From: The town of Kakinada in the region of Andhra Pradesh, India.
Interests: Badminton, reading, vegetarian food.
Degerbyhallen is located at Spårvägen 6 in Skellefteå. It has courts for both badminton and table tennis. Book an appointment on the website degerbyhallen.bokamera.se.