A combination of coronavirus concerns and Valentine’s Day and Presidents Day weekend led to a slightly smaller VetSports Beach Volleyball Tournament.
According to VETSports Tampa Chapter coordinator, Steve Urena, there were no more than 200 players between Saturday, February 13 and Sunday, February 14.
Last year, there were more than 500, but Gulfport’s Beach volleyball nets were still alive with spikes and serves.
“We really put on some great games,” Urena said. “Our primary goal is always to raise as much as we can for the vets.”
As of Monday, February 15, VETSports, a community veteran rehabilitation organization, raised more than $2,500; funds are still being tallied.
The traditional Guns and Hose – Gulfport Police Officers vs. Gulfport Firefighters – game was canceled for the first time in the tournament’s nine-year history.
“The fire department was short staffed,” Urena explained. “We didn’t want there to be an emergency with our fire department on the beach.”