NAWILIWILI — Everyone should be able to play volleyball, said Tony Giarla of the Association of Volleyball Professionals First on Saturday during a clinic at Kalapaki Beach.
Giarla was leading the second of 17 clinics that will spread across the state through the sponsorship of the Hawaii Tourism Authority.
“We’ve brought some of the AVP professionals, including Hawaii-born Lea Hunt, to help the Boys &Girls Club members, some of whom are handling the volleyball for the first time,” he said. “Others have played before and only can get better.”
Kauai, with the help of Fonz Nartatez, hosted more than four dozen young volleyballers to a morning of drills.
“We’ve got young people from all over,” said Lea Nuesca, Boys &Girls Waimea Clubhouse leader. “We even have people that are not B&G members, but we’re taking care of everyone.”
Jim Braman of the Boys &Girls Club board of directors was one of the spectators watching the proceedings from the shade of a nearby tree.
“Not only is this good volleyball,” Braman said. “But we ended up with at least two dozen new members — people who showed up for the clinic and learned what the Boys &Girls Club offers.”
Giarla said the action is not limited to the sand.
“We’re donating some portable net systems to the Boys &Girls Club, too,” he said. “We’re creating accessibility for all. Everyone should be able to play — this is why the ‘ALL’ in ‘volleybALL’ in all capital letters.”
Giarla said they will be back.
“Eventually, we’d love to see some inter-island competition with the winners advancing to the AVP Hawaii Invitational, an international exhibition event that brings the top male and female beach volleyball stars from across the United States and overseas to celebrate and honor one of the birthplaces of the sport,” he said.
The bigger vision is for the winners of the Hawaii event advancing to the big Hermosa Beach, California event in July.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.