FIVE years ago, Ateneo standouts Charo Soriano, Gretchen Ho, Fille Cainglet-Cayetano, Dzi Gervacio and Bea Tan founded Beach Volleyball Republic, which aims to promote the sport as a lifestyle and culture.
“We believe that our love for beach volleyball unites us and helps bring fourth a strong community of athletes, working towards a shared dream, looking towards the same path and development,” said Ho when the BVR was launched in 2015.
One of the BVR’s goals is to have a professional beach volleyball circuit which aims to further strengthen the level of competition and to fuel a sustainable infrastructure of the sport in the country.
Now, the BVR is currently in talks with the Games and Amusements Board about turning the popular beach volleyball tournament pro.
“Like the path that the PVL (Premier Volleyball League) has taken, we are looking at professionalizing beach volleyball,” said Soriano during last Friday’s virtual press conference between GAB and PVL.
“Although there are several challenges since we are still in our infancy stage. We still haven’t reached the traction of indoor volleyball,” she added.
Like other sporting competitions in the country, the BVR on Tour was shelved this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The BVR was supposed to open the 2020 season with Puerto Galera and Dumaguete legs last March but the coronavirus outbreak forced the league to cancel it altogether.
Helping guide BVR’s transition to being a pro tournament is GAB chairman Baham Mitra.
“I just hope we will give them a chance to grow. This coming year will be like a growth stage for the PVL and, hopefully, the BVR,” said Mitra. “We are here to help.”
Once given government permission to resume its tournament, the BVR is plotting to resume action early next year.
Beach volleyball has been on the rise, highlighted by the bronze medal finish by the Philippines in the women’s and men’s division in last year’s Southeast Asian Games.
The popular sand court tandem of Sisi Rondina and Bernadeth Pons, as well as Dzi Gervacio and Bernadeth Pons are the top women’s pairs, while Jude Garcia, Jaron Requinton, Edmar Bonono and James Buytrago gave the Philippines’ its first-ever SEA Games men’s beach volleyball medal