There may be constant drama between the NVL and the AVP, but National Volleyball League founder Al-B Hannemann always seems to find a way to keep moving forward. Despite the AVP signing some of the top American beach volleyball athletes to exclusive contracts and scheduling on top of their competitions, the NVL pro tour had four events on the schedule this year, spanning the country from Cincinnati to Dallas, Hermosa Beach, and Las Vegas.
The most recent addition to the NVL empire stemmed from a partnership Hannemann formed with Club Med through his Volleyball Vacations. Each year, Hannemann takes a group of fans and players down to the Club Med resort in Turks and Caicos to “Play and party with the pros.” Now, the Club Med Academies in St. Lucie, Fla., is building a 30-court facility that will become the NVL’s East Coast headquarters and the first-ever beach volleyball academy in the country. The NVL has been increasing their focus on the juniors’ scene recently, and this is just another step in that direction. The academy will provide a full-time boarding school environment, where students enroll in a college-prep academic schedule while training with pro athletes and coaches. There will also be short-term options such as summer camps and performance training programs.
Club Med already offers programs in tennis, golf, triathlon, racing, and fitness, and they pride themselves on producing top-tier college and professional athletes. The full-time beach volleyball academy will run from mid-August to the end of May and cost $43,186 a year (if the student is boarding). Scholarships will be available for exceptional applicants. Hannemann and Club Med hope to have their first class enrolled this fall.
Originally published in October 2013