The sand may be cooling down on the island, but the Fort Myers Beach Volleyball Club is keeping it heated up: spiking, serving and sliding on the beach throughout the week. The league, full of all levels, from beginners to professionals, continues to grow, now with more than 100 members and still expanding.
"This league is not just some casual players that randomly get together every other month. We have very well-educated professionals on our league:?attorneys, doctors, chiropractors, nurses, traveling anywhere from Marco Island to Port Charlotte all getting together on Fort Myers Beach at least twice a week to play volleyball," said Brett?Hayes, coordinator of the FMBVC, along with her husband, Troy, who was a pro player. "We are the only doubles beach volleyball league in Lee County and proud to call Fort Myers Beach our home."
The highly-sponsored league runs 12 pro-sized courts at a time, also utilizing a couple of portables, to accomodate so many players. Stationed at the Holiday Inn of Fort Myers Beach on the south end of the island since the early 1990s, the club never minds casual volleyball players getting some games in from the league's permanent nets.
The Fort Myers Beach Volleyball Club is the only doubles beach volleyball league in Lee County, gathering along the sands of the seven-mile island two to three days a week. All skill levels are welcome to join in and participate. Visit FMBVC.com or email FMBVolleyball@gmail.com. Photo courtesy DAVID REGENTHAL.
As we head into the seasonal months, the high-energy league has their eyes open for a new, sandy Fort Myers Beach spot to call home.
"We have 16 teams of four on Fort Myers Beach twice a week at our sponsored venue all year long even through the off-season. Our families eat the food there, we buy our drinks and cocktails there after the games, and we help bring lots of money into the establishment all year long, every single Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to dusk," Brett said. "And, in the summertime, when normal things quiet down on the beach, we're out there even more often, running four leagues each and every Tuesday night."
Needless to say, the Fort Myers Beach Volleyball Club consistently helps bring in revenue to their local sponsored establishment and its nearby area. The group is also a tidy bunch, keeping their area cleared of trash or debris.
"We always pick up the beach where we play, keeping everything clean. We are very respectful where we re, because we're so thankful to have a place to play volleyball. We treat it like our own homes and we want our beach to be the nicest beach it can possibly be," Brett said.
As a non-profit group, the league lives on through seasonal fees that are kept to a minimum, Brett said.
"Whatever fees there are, which are minimal, goes right back into the league upgrading equipment, getting prizes for tournaments. Nothing ever goes into our pockets," she said. "League fees are between $30 and $50 for the eight weeks (about $3.60 every Sunday), very cheap especially to play all day. That includes league T-shirts and prizes for the winners."
The Fort Myers Beach Volleyball Club plays eight weeks on, one week off. Troy, the league coordinator and pro volleyball player, as mentioned earlier, has trained four girls in Lee County who are now top 10 in the world.
"Since Troy has been coordinating again, our league continues to grow, now with players traveling even from as far north as Sarasota to be in the group," Brett said.
The group also plans to start a juniors league soon, and is open for anyone interested in participating, from beginners to professionals. Finals start Jan. 8, and the next league will kick back in starting Jan. 22.
"Anybody and everybody is welcome to join or at least come by and watch," Brett eagerly stated. "We've also recently been accepted in Living Social (LivingSocial.com) to do vouchers for the next volleyball league. So keep an eye on that."
For more information, visit FMBVC.com or find the group on Facebook. To get in touch with Brett and Troy about joining the league or offering a new venue for the club, call 410-7203 or email FMBVolleyball@gmail.com.