PORTLAND GAY VOLLEYBALL CLUB
Building lifelong memories, friends, family, and community through the sport of volleyball!!
Portland Gay Volleyball (PGV) started as a recreational and social group in 1991 whose primary purpose was to promote the sport of volleyball and provide a safe zone for the GLBTQ athlete, our friends, family, and allies. That same year, we became members of North American Gay Volleyball Association (NAGVA) and began hosting the annual Portland Fall Ball Tournament, drawing in teams from across the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Puerto Rico. In 2014, the group became Portland Gay Volleyball Club (PGVC), a nonprofit public benefit corporation and obtained tax exemption status under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Our main goal of promoting the sport and providing a non-exclusionary environment still remains. We have since added to our mission: embrace cultural diversity, develop and train players at the highest competitive level, provide a non-competitive atmosphere for those athletes that prefer to use volleyball as a social outlet and to grow the community locally, across the nation and have broadened the scope to include athletes from all over the world.
Around the world
Some members join purely for the social and recreational aspect of PGVC, others train and play at the highest level of competition. These competitive members have traveled to USA Volleyball Nationals and finished in the top 15 or higher in their respective divisions. PGVC is also a member of the European Gay & Lesbian Sports Federation (EGLSF) and represented Portland as Team USA in the EuroGames Helsinki 2016, winning a Silver Medal. We were members of the Gay & Lesbian Sports Federation (FSGL) and represented Portland in Tournoi International de Paris in 2012 (Silver) and 2013 (Gold & Silver). This annual event offers 35 sports, draws over 2,300 athletes from around the world. Our biggest and one of the proudest moments in club history was being awarded the “TIP Sportsmanship Award” as well as a Silver medal in 2012. We were unanimously chosen by the tournament directors, event organizers, and every team competing against us; becoming the first American team to earn that honor since the start of the event in 2004. PGVC members have also attended the Gay Games (the world's largest sport and cultural event that unites athletes every four years) in the following years: 1986 (San Francisco), 1990 (Vancouver, BC), 1994 (New York City), 1998 (Amsterdam), 2002 (Sydney, Australia), 2006 (Chicago), 2010 (Cologne, Germany), 2014 (Cleveland), 2018 (Paris, France) and plan to attend the Gay Games in 2022 (Hong Kong). PGVC members have also participated in some of the World Out Games (2006-2017). Whether we travel domestically or abroad, our members know they represent PGVC and the United States and always respect the other teams’ efforts and are gracious in victory and defeat.
All of our members have something to offer the club. We recognize and embrace the diverse backgrounds and cultural differences AND similarities within our group. We often host social events or impromptu get-togethers where we share food, music, laughter, singing, and, tears of joy and pain. We truly embrace the mana/spirit of 'ohana and aloha.
Not only do we host two annual volleyball tournaments here in Portland but we also host a tournament in the State of Hawai'i. We expanded our tournament hosting vision beyond our region, due to PGVC/NAGVA membership desire and the dreams of our late friend, Jim Moore, President of South Bay Volleyball Club in San Jose, CA. Jim was the originator of this tournament (Na Hoa Aloha Volleyball Invitational) and worked relentlessly for almost two years. He was approved to host a NAGVA sanctioned tournament in Hawaii but passed before he could see his trailblazing dream come to life. His work and dedication to the sport of volleyball and growing our community was well known and is the driving spirit behind the tournament. Jim was a mentor and friend to all the Directors, volunteers, and athletes who have stepped up to complete his work.
The directors of both tournaments (Portland Fall Ball and Na Hoa Aloha) work endlessly to always ensure that player experience is filled with some of that Aloha spirit Jim embodied. To us, emulating and giving as much as he did to help grow the LGBTQ volleyball community is the best way to honor and remember those that came before us.
Sport has always been a positive environment to foster team work and leadership skills, build lasting friendships, and proven to help relieve stress and reduce depression. Unfortunately, the sports world remains a very hostile environment for LGBT players, coaches, fans and allies. To help create safe zones for these LGBT community members, local clubs such as, Portland Gay Volleyball Club (PGVC), form and become members of the North American Gay Volleyball Association (NAGVA), a larger “parent club” that guides and helps us learn and teach others to take pride in ourselves.