You can say the Northern Mariana Islands Volleyball Association has gone back to basics by developing grassroots-level volleyball this year after enduring hardships with the onslaught of Typhoon Soudelor in 2015 and Super Typhoon Yutu in 2018.
“After seeing that we weren’t going to rebound from Soudelor and compounded by Yutu and a lack of general interest in volleyball and beach volleyball administration, the NMIVA board decided to provide support to those who want to do volleyball their way, but try to help keep them conformed to FIVB regulation,” said NMIVA president Laurie Peterka in an email to Saipan Tribune.
FIVB is the international governing body for the sport and stands for Fédération Internationale de Volleyball.
As part of its plans for 2020, Peterka said NMIVA will continue to provide support to the Public School System, through PSS Student Support Services Athletic Program director Nick Gross, and to two burgeoning volleyball clubs, namely Saipan Volley and the NMC Volleyball Club.
“Currently, NMIVA is relying mostly on clubs that are slowly forming, so we’re not really hosting events directly. We are also working very closely with Nick Gross and PSS to grow our sport at the grassroots again,” she said.
The local volleyball association is also looking to shore up its ranks of officials and is planning to enter into a contract with the FIVB for a short-term contract with a high-performance coach in the coming months.
“We are trying to continue to grow our referees and technical officials. We will see our high-performance coach set up our national teams’ structure between now and June,” Peterka said.
On facilities, the NMIVA head said they will be relocating one of the beach courts at the Hyatt Regency Saipan due to sand erosion from shifting tides.
In her capacity as a board member of the Northern Marianas Sports Association, Peterka said she also writes grants to Fédération Internationale du Sport Universitaire to support capacity building for sports development. She said one the grants she’s working on include volleyball and a couple of other sports.
FISU is responsible for the organization and governance of worldwide sports competitions for student-athletes between the ages of 17 and 28.
Aside from Peterka, NMIVA’s other officials are Sean Frink as vice president, Mike Pai as treasurer, and Shawn Davis as secretary. NMIVA will hold an election for its new board later this year.