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Perfect Set: Volleyball Provides Outlet for OEHS Employee

By Jody Record, Campus Journal Editor
September 16, 2009

David Gillum (blue shirt, center) of the Office of Environmental Health and Safety, blocks a shot during a recent volleyball tournament. Courtesy photo.

David Gillum grew up in a town so small there were only 23 kids in his graduating high school class. Sports teams were limited: he was lucky there were enough boys to field a basketball squad. A men’s volleyball team was non-existent.

Fast forward to 2001; Gillum is newly moved to the Boston area and doesn’t know many people. Then he hears about the Cambridge Boston Volleyball Association (CBVA), a not-for-profit organization that provides members of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning (GLBTQ) community a venue to play volleyball. He thinks this might be a good way to make friends so he joins as a self-described novice.

And it turns out to be one of the most enjoyable things he’s ever done.

“This is a really great organization; I drive down every Sunday (he has since moved to Newmarket). I’ve gotten to know so many people,” Gillum says.

The league has three levels: recreational, intermediate and advanced. Gillum, assistant director of the Office of Environmental Health and Safety, started with the rec group but has since moved up to advanced. Three years ago, when a spot opened up, he joined the board of directors as their information officer.

And this year, he helped coordinate a Boston tournament.

“Another player and I realized we hadn’t had a tournament in Boston for a couple of years so we took the initiative and made it happen,” Gillum says.

The pair (Robert Martinez, also on the advanced division) rounded up the players from across the country, found sponsors, and brought the Boston Beantown Classic back to the city. The two-day event featured thirty-six teams.

The 315-member CBVA league helps raise money for area causes. The recent tournament brought in more than $4,000 for the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School volleyball team.

“It’s a way to have fun, get exercise and raise money for a good cause,” Gillum says. “It provides a great outlet for the GLBTQ community. And it really helps me balance out work.”

For information on the Cambridge Boston Volleyball Association, visit http://www.cbvolleyball.net/ .

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