National organizations like the First Lady’s Let’s Move and the NVL’s PlayFit Foundation place a keen focus on physical activity for children. In our opinion, the best way to reach the activity-level goals set for kids is to introduce them to sports they can learn at an early age and play their entire lives. Rod Suzumoto founded Aloha Beach Volleyball to get the children of Oahu involved in volleyball, and he does it without charging the heavy fees that prevent many kids from joining traditional volleyball clubs.
Kids ages 7-17 are the target audience of the program, but Suzumoto won’t turn away others who wish to participate. Suzumoto and Diana McKibbin, another key organizer with the club and a former national champion at Hawaii in 1979, recruit coaches from the local juniors programs and from their own families. Suzumoto’s sons Chase, 20, and Shea, 12, both donate their coaching talents.
You’ll find the Aloha Beach Volleyball crew out on the grass at Maili Beach Park from 8:30 to 11:30 every other Saturday morning, fighting childhood obesity and introducing more kids to a sport they’ll love and a community that will embrace them for many years to come. The group hopes to move to the sand for some official beach volleyball soon. Good luck, ABV!
Originally published in June 2013