Louisville: OVVC Gets the Ball Rolling

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OHIO VALLEY VOLLEYBALL CENTERLouisville, KentuckyBy Ron Kordes, Club Director of Kiva and Head Coach at Assumption High School

In 1993 I was fortunate enough to have a local contractor's daughter playing on my high school team. I coached and still coach at a private high school named Assumption High School. We were playing and practicing in a high school gym that was not much larger than many walk in closets that you see today. One particular day we were having lunch and we drove by a construction site as he needed to check on a job they had going on at the time. In talking volleyball, I told him about a facility in Chicago that my club team had played in called the Great Lakes Center owned and operated by Rick Butler and Sports Performance Volleyball Club.

About three days later I get this phone call and he asked if I was interested in pursuing the notion of building and operating a volleyball center. Obviously, I was in his office in less than 15 minutes. We laid out the initial plans, and he began the construction project while I focused on the volleyball side of things: vendors, equipment, programming, etc. The start-up capital was provided by my partner. At the time, banks were not fond of lending money for a volleyball center as there was no track record of success to reference. My partners' borrowing power made it happen. Even his bonding company questioned him as to why a contractor was getting involved with a volleyball venture.

Just over three months later we opened the Ohio Valley Volleyball Center. When we built OVVC, there were very few volleyball facilities in the country. We started with four courts and were at capacity with adult night leagues within a month. At that time we also rented space to a local junior club I was associated with called KJVA. Approximately 18 months later we expanded to 6 courts of which we have today.

The features of the OVVC:

6 indoor volleyball courts using Sport Court playing surfacesSENOH net systemsNEVCO electronic scoreboardsFull service grill

Pro shop

Weight training room

Spacious mezzanine for watching games and socializing

Televisions and arcade games

In the year 2000, we formed the Kentucky Indiana Volleyball Academy, which operates out of the center and today includes about 30 girls teams. Today, our revenue is spread among KIVA club activities, hosting junior club tournaments, adult night leagues, camps, clinics and numerous other junior events. Since we opened in 1993, there have been four other sports centers that opened in the metro Louisville area. This has provided the opportunity for so many young girls and boys to get involved in the great game of volleyball. We will be celebrating our 20th anniversary next summer and look forward to many years ahead.


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