DENVER (CBS4) – Nearly 1,500 volleyball players from teams across the nation came to the Colorado Convention Center for the North American Gay Volleyball Association (NAGVA) Championships.

(credit: CBS)

“I think it’s an opportunity for us to come together, have a good time, be with ourselves and also all of our friends and do our very best,” said Tony Smith.

Tony was part of the organizing committee that help bring the championships to Denver this year.

(credit: CBS)

“Whether it be the facility, the hotel, the great social activities and all of the great things you can do in the city, just outside the city and that’s what Denver has which makes it a special place for championships,” said Jason Fallon, President of NAVGA.

“I grew up as a gay kid who loved sports, I watch ESPN every day, and I’m not that typical gay guy that you see out there and I was like, ‘Is there a place for me?’ And yeah, there is a place for me,” he said.

Scott Bateman (credit: CBS)

“I don’t think that there is anything that says if you’re gay, you can’t be athletic,” said player and organizer Scott Bateman.

Scott moved to Denver from Arizona three years ago.

“I got involved in the volleyball community right away, and it was a really great way to not only encourage my own athleticism, but also to meet people in the community,” he said.

People like Liz Bowen. Although she isn’t gay, she loves any chance to play the game, and forge great relationships.

(credit: CBS)

“They’re your friends outside of the game too and we hang out, we brunch and we go to the park,” she said.

Competing together and building a stronger community is their goal.

(credit: CBS)

This was the third time Denver has hosted the championship game in the association’s 37-year history.  If you would like to find a team near you, you can visit their website https://nagva.org/.

Joel Hillan

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