Beach volleyball fans in Lowell will have plenty of opportunities to play close to home this summer. After a successful first year, T.A.G. Beach Volleyball Club has a full season of camps, clinics and tournaments planned for 2021.
“I underestimated the amount of interest we’d have,” says Bill Genovich, head coach for T.A.G. Beach Volleyball Club and a former member of Team USA. “[Running the club] started as a part-time hobby, but it’s turned into a little more.”
At the start of the 2020 season, approximately 40 students were signed up for club activities. By the end of the year, that number had ballooned to 300. With many indoor activities off-limits because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the outdoor volleyball camps and clinics provided a way for kids to safely spend their summer days.
“It was awesome,” Genovich says. “We got the kids out and active and off the coach away from the screens.”
For 2021, Genovich hopes to build on that success with daily, weekly and monthly camp options for kids as well as leagues for adults. To make the program accessible to everyone in the community, T.A.G. Beach Volleyball Club will also offer free clinics on two dates in June.
2021 Season Kicks Off with Art in the Park
The first event planned by T.A.G. Beach Volleyball Club for 2021 doesn’t actually involve playing volleyball. Instead, the club is inviting the community – players and non-players alike – to come to the courts on Saturday, April 17, for Art in the Park.
Supported by a generous donation from Bernard’s Ace Hardware, volunteers will be painting the poles at the volleyball courts found in the South Grand River Riverfront Park. Genovich expects art students from Lowell Middle School and High School to attend, but participation isn’t limited to them.
“[Volunteers] don’t have to be kids,” he says. “The more the merrier.”
Participants will be able to use their creativity to decorate the various poles. There may be one court dedicated to the Lowell Red Arrows, according to Genovich, but otherwise, artists can use whatever colors or theme they like.
Art is in the Park runs from 10am to 2pm on Saturday, April 17.
Volleyball Camps Start on June 8, 2021
On June 8, T.A.G. Beach Volleyball Club kicks off its summer camps with daily, weekly and monthly options for kids from age 7-18. Each day’s camp last two hours with beginner to intermediate players scheduled from 10am-12pm and intermediate to advanced players receiving instruction from 12-2pm.
The club also has free clinics scheduled for June 5 and June 25. These clinics are open to boys and girls of all ages. “They can check it out and see if [volleyball] is something they want to do,” Genovich says. Advanced Homes of West Michigan is sponsoring the clinics, and Genovich adds, “If we get enough sponsors, we’d like to give participants a free t-shirt.”
For adults, there will be two league options this year. A Tuesday league starts on May 18th and runs from 6-8pm each week. It’s a recreational league that’s suitable for anyone who wants to play for fun. Meanwhile, competitive players can sign up for the Thursday night league. Held in conjunction with The Score Beach Volleyball, the competitive league is co-ed and will be run in a 4-on-4 format.
Tournaments, Clinic with Top Player Planned
There will also be tournaments scheduled throughout the summer for both adults and kids. The first adult tournament takes place on May 22 and will have men and women playing in a 2-on-2 format. The tournament runs from 9am-5pm with a DJ, food trucks and raffles played for the afternoon.
The public is invited to come and watch the tournament. “Bring a camp chair or a blanket,” Genovich advises. “It should be a fun day.” He hopes to have a mini cornhole tournament, and Dick’s Sporting Goods is sponsoring the event and offering gift cards as prizes.
Youth tournaments will run on June 13, July 3 and August 8. All tournaments will be 2-on-2. Then, there will be a 4-on-4 tournament on August 15 for middle school, high school and adult competitors.
On June 22, there will be a one-day clinic with John Hyden. “We have one of the top players in the country coming to Lowell,” Genovich says. Hyden is an AVP Pro Beach Volleyball player and two-time Olympian. He has more than 20 years of experience playing beach volleyball professionally.
For more information about these events or to register, visit the T.A.G. Beach Volleyball Club website.