From Front Lines to Court Lines
How a US soldier is bringing Philadelphia together through volleyball
When you think of Iraq and the United States Armed Forces I’m sure one of the last things you’d think of would be volleyball — for Dan Elliott, it was one of the things he enjoyed most while stationed on his second tour in Balad, Iraq.
Dan is the organizer of Philadelphia Volleyball, a citywide organization that organizes pick-up volleyball for skill levels from B to AA (he is also one of OpenSports’ longest running and most active users.)
Dan considers himself a “late-bloomer” when it comes to volleyball, however, after playing volleyball every night while stationed overseas, he developed an affinity for the game that has lead him to become an avid player.
After returning stateside, Dan continued to play volleyball at a small church volleyball group in the Poconos, PA, before moving to The City of Brotherly Love. Once in Philadelphia, Dan joined a rec volleyball league, but he wasn’t satisfied — he yearned to be more active and play more frequently at a more competitive level. So, he decided to start his own volleyball group called Manayunk Volleyball, named after the neighborhood that he lived in, and it took off.
Eventually, Dan caught the attention of the organizer of Philadelphia Volleyball at the time, who asked Dan if he would want to take over for him. As the volleyball enthusiast Dan was (and still is), he said yes and found that he was actually very good at organizing sports (we can attest to that) and enjoyed it a lot — he also jokingly admits that he loves the notoriety and how it boosts his ego (Dan’s words, not mine).
Although he considers himself a recreational player, Dan is frequently asked to play at high levels of volleyball with people he plays with because of how much heart and hard work he puts into playing the sport he loves — he has even been invited to play at the national level. The community he is building can vouch for how much Dan cares about volleyball and how great it is having him organizing games. Dan’s love for the game seems to foster the same ardor in the members of Philadelphia Volleyball which can be seen in how much they improve and yearn to get better.
Dan’s passion for volleyball and his devotion to organizing is quickly making Philadelphia Volleyball one of the best places to find pick up volleyball in Philly.