Get Set: Here Comes Gay Men's Volleyball
UMKC graduate student Andy Lopez moved from Oregon in 2009 and was surprised to find no LGBT-targeted volleyball club here in town. He had had such a positive experience with Portland Gay Volleyball that he wanted to emulate that feeling in KC. Now he and co-founder Charles Bradford are building a grass-roots program called Kansas City Gay Volleyball (KCGV).
Lopez plans to take the steps necessary to eventually make the group part of the North American Gay Volleyball Association.
“It is so important to have social/athletic clubs targeted toward the gay community,” Lopez said. “It promotes lasting bonds and social cohesion, not to mention a heck of a good time. I am so excited for us to start playing ball. The men who join will not regret it.”
Bradford is a seasoned local volleyball player and attends NAGVA tournaments annually. Together, Bradford and Lopez hope to make KCGV a fun, healthful way for players to spend time with friends, new and old.
The first open gym for the group will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 10, at Queen of the Court Sports in Riverside, Mo., and there will be regular practices every Sunday after that. To cover court-rental costs, a fee of $6 per player will be assessed.
The group is targeted toward gay men, but all are welcome. Interested players should dress in athletic clothes and wear appropriate gym floor shoes (non-black soles). Lopez encourages attendees to bring others who are interested in playing. Contact him for more details or just show up for the first open gym.
“We are hoping to host a grass tournament this spring and invite the men from St. Louis to come play with us as well,” Lopez said. “As we get larger, the goal would be to host a regional NAGVA tournament here in KC.”
“KCGV will be a place to get active and meet other gay men of all ages, and we will definitely have many social events. We just need to get the word out and have men come play ball with us. All levels are welcome!”
Kansas City Gay Volleyball
First open gym: 5-7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 10