PODCAST: Tony Giarla, AVP First

(Left to Right) Tony Giarla, Executive Director, AVP First, Roy Kessel, President, Sports Philanthropy Network, Josh Berger, AVP First

Listen to Episode 39 of the Sports Philanthropy Podcast as our host Roy Kessel sits down with Tony Giarla, Executive Director of AVP First to discuss how they are bringing volleyball to the streets.

AVPFirst is a 501©3 nonprofit organization with a goal of inspiring healthy lifestyles and creating a lifelong connection to the sport of volleyball in youth and their families. Regardless of where they reside or their economic status, AVPFirst gives children the access, opportunity, and resources to beach volleyball through clinics, community events, and training.

At the heart of AVPFirst is a passion and desire to grow the sport of beach volleyball, targeting cities and communities not traditionally associated with the sport. Our community initiatives provide access, opportunity and resources to build youth programs that create a lifelong connection to the sport of beach volleyball for the children and their families.

One of the really interesting initiatives, is that AVP First partners with community organizations, not only to give them and outstanding day of fun, but more importantly, a year-round program that develops them as a person and as a volleyball player.

You can read our recent Organizational Spotlight on AVP First here.

Tony Giarla, Executive Director of AVP First, sits down with our host Roy Kessel on Episode 39 of the Sports Philanthropy Podcast


  • 00:30 Background and desire to be an Athletic Director or Executive Director
  • 04:00 Work experience in minor league baseball
  • 05:45 NCAA Compliance experience
  • 06:40 LA84 Foundation Program Director
  • 09:00 Challenges of Development
  • 11:15 Creating safe work spaces for sports
  • 12:30 AVP tasked with creating safe sports space, competitive tournaments
  • 16:45 Challenges of recruiting pro athletes for the program
  • 18:00 Difficulties faced by kids in their programs
  • 19:00 Breaking down through sports
  • 20:30 Taking it back to the community
  • 23:30 AVP support for the program and increasing capacity
  • 26:00 Fundraising efforts
  • 28:15 Biggest challenges to growth
  • 30:00 Hawaiian tour and island clinics
  • 32:00 Staff and growth
  • 33:30 Sports performance and injury prevention
  • 34:30 Number of kids served nationally and internationally
  • 37:10 Tony as Commission of Major League Baseball
Roy Kessel

Roy Kessel

Roy Kessel is the Founder of the Sports Philanthropy Network. Roy has worked in the sports business world for over 20 years including serving as an instructor in Northwestern University's graduate Sports Management Program. Having served as a sports lawyer representing athletes, entrepreneurs and start-up businesses, Roy has extensive experience helping organizations improve their strategy, marketing, communications and leadership development.
Sports Philanthropy Network

Featured Posts

Recent Posts

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email