The Beach Volleyball Republic really started out as just a hobby for student-athletes turned pioneers Bea Tan, Charo Soriano, Gretchen Ho, Dzi Gervacio, and Fille Cainglet.
After organizing multiple tournaments last year and establishing a National Circuit at the start of this year, BVR cracked a major deal with broadcasting giants ABS-CBN to televise their upcoming events.
But the BVR stakeholders don’t just organzie the events, they comepete in the tournaments as well.
During the events, the ladies are hands-on with dealing with the media, referees, and fellow participants.
Although stressful, the ladies knew they had to sacrifice in order to achieve their ultimate dream of establishing a beach volleyball culture in the country.
“As a startup, we knew that we needed to do a lot of the work ourselves. Not just making sure that we played well, but also making sure that everyone around us was taken care of – the media, officials, and our fellow competitors,” Charo Soriano explained.
“So a lot of our resources, instead of it going to us resting, getting sleep, or getting conditioned, we end up thinking about a lot of other things. I feel like it’s training us to be better, tougher so that we can focus more on the matches.”
Soriano’s and the rest of BVR’s stakeholders’ level of play matter a lot in marketing the sport. Producing quality matches are imperative to growing any sport according to ABS-CBN head of Integrated Sports Dino Laurena.
“The notion that because something is being broadcasted in ABS-CBN, it will take off is misleading. The quality of matches, those that produce great stories and have telenovela-type drama are really what draws viewers,” Laurena said during BVR’s contract signing. “We’ve seen how these girls play and how passionate they are. We know that they won’t have a problem drawing an audience.”
The BVR Open was the first event that ABS-CBN broadcasted. In that tournament, Soriano and her partner Alexa Micek reached the Finals only to bow out in a frantic three-setter after Soriano suffered from cramps.
Soriano admits that the stress from organizing the two-day tournament could have affected her play but, as an athlete, she refuses to make excuses.
“Things happen for a reason but I just had to play through it. Thankfully, we were able to put on a great match for the fans watching. As an athlete, you never want to make excuses din talaga.”
In the future, BVR hopes to establish a team to handle all the legwork they’re doing now.
“We hope we can find people who are as passionate as we are to handle the backroom stuff so we can focus more on playing because as athletes, I think our number one priority is to provide quality games.”