Wanted: A few good volunteers to help grow boys’ volleyball in Illinois.
Lincoln-Way East coach Kris Fiore is serving as the lead Illinois representative for the First Point Volleyball Foundation, which was established in 2016 by the USA Men’s National Team head coach John Speraw and non-profit executive Wade Garard.
The mission of the First Point Volleyball Foundation is to connect donors to the men’s volleyball programs that need them the most — whether it’s a new Division I or II college program, a budding high school team or a community initiative in an underserved area.
This foundation (http://firstpointvolleyball.com/) helps programs take their initial steps toward creation and development.
“Our goal in the next two to three years is to have the sport grow outside of the Chicago/St. Louis/Rockford areas to communities where boys currently do not have many opportunities,” Fiore said.
“Illinois is currently ranked No. 2 nationally with more than 7,000 boys playing the sport,” he added. “However, all of us realize that boys throughout most of the state do not have access to the fastest growing sport in the United States.”
Fiore is looking to put together a group of volunteers willing to help grow the sport. His immediate goal to bring interested parties together on a Zoom call sometime in early February to strategize about the steps to take moving forward.
“The hope is that by the summer of 2021, we will have some offerings that will start to help grow the game,” Fiore said.
Boys’ volleyball is the fastest-growing boys team sport in America, experiencing a 21 percent growth over the past five years. There are 61,000 boys currently playing volleyball in the United States and more than 40 volunteers from 20 states working on high school growth.
However, several populous areas in Illinois – such as Peoria, Springfield, the Bloomington/Normal area, the Quad Cities – currently do not offer boys’ volleyball. Fiore is looking for representatives (high school coaches, club coaches, college coaches, former players, etc.) who will help lead the charge of expanding the sport in those areas.
“Even if someone does not live in those areas, they can still help,” Fiore said. “Or if someone lives in the Chicago/St. Louis/Rockford area and would still like to help with the process, they can contact me.”
Fiore can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Anyone interested in supporting the foundation with a donation can visit https://app.mobilecause.com/e/Nqq9Vg?vid=enblo