For almost 40 years the Melbourne Spikers have created a welcoming space for people to come and have a go at volleyball, regardless of their gender or sexual identity.
Thirteen years ago, Seb Delfino was looking for a different way to be involved in his community. The Spikers were it.
“It was so daunting going to my first training session, because it was the first time I had entered an LGBT space that wasn’t a bar,” Delfino told the Star Observer.
“I didn’t really know how to play either, but everyone was super friendly and I haven’t looked back since.”
With weekly casual training sessions on a Sunday afternoon at Melbourne Girls Grammar, the club provides a welcome space for anyone to come and try volleyball, with a member base that is not only diverse from an LGBTQ standpoint, but racially diverse as well.
“I think it’s because of the casual nature of the club and the acceptance of the people who are there,” Delfino said. “Committees from way back have done a really good job of welcoming new players and members, making sure that they feel welcome.
“Together we have built a safe place for everyone and anyone regardless of who you are or how you identify.”
All skill levels are catered for, and the team recently competed in the annual Adelaide Tournament, hosted by their sister club up west.
“80 per cent of that competition is made up of Melbourne teams, and a lot of our members have already booked their spots in next year’s competition.” Delfino told us.
There isn’t a lot of commitment required to train or play with the Spikers, and they make sure that everyone is looked after and feels welcome to come and have a go.
“No matter your skill level or ability, we have coaches that can cater to your needs. Plus, there’s a big social aspect to the club, with participation in community events and team dinners after practise.” Delfino says.
You can find out more about the Melbourne Spikers at their weekly training, or via their website.