Each October, youth, young adults, and adults from various parts of the Metropolis gather together to participate in the Annual St. Nicholas Volleyball Tournament. Hosted by St. Nicholas Church, San Jose, CA, throughout the years, participants have come from Belmont, San Francisco, Oakland, and even the Northwest States. The tournament is broken down into four age divisions: Jr. Goya (middle school), Goyan (high school), Young Adult (ages 18-35), and Adult (35+). The event has largely grown from hosting 15 teams to 40 teams, totaling over 350 participants.
George Spilios has been the chairman for the last seven years. He and his committee are thrilled to see the event continue to grow and thrive. It is important to note that the tournament has a philanthropic cause. Being very involved in the Greek Community at large, Spilios has been a Parish Council Executive Board Member at St. Nicholas since 2011, was the FDF Managing Director in 2001 for the 25th Anniversary, was an FDF Board Member from 2000-2004, Treasurer for the 36th Biennial Clergy Laity, and Chicago’s AGDC (America’s Greek Dance and Choral Competition) Co-Founder from 2009-2012. It goes to show that Spilios has a deep commitment to the future generations of the Greek American and Greek Orthodox communities.
While the tournament may seem like a great time to get together, play ball, and have fun, it is also a vital way of being a part of a cause that is working for good. Spilios stated, “The committee has decided to give back $5 from every participant to Breast Cancer Awareness. We have chosen this charity because our tournament falls in the middle of October every year,” with the significance of October being that it is the national month of awareness for Breast Cancer. Spilios continues, “We started this effort two years ago and have given to date $2,700 to Breast Cancer Awareness.” Their efforts have an overall effect on the Diakonia in Northern California and the extended area.
Twelve years ago, the tournament began “under the approved and blessed guidance of our Beloved Fr. John Asimacopoulos and the tireless efforts and direction of Fr. Soterios Rousakis. Without their vision and hard work, this tournament would not exist today,” said Spilios. Parishioners are welcomed annually from over 10 participating parishes. Being that it is a multigenerational event, it warms Chairman George Spilios’ heart to see an event where families can truly participate together: “…to see families young and old (ages 11-73 years old) participating in all four divisions of this tournament. I see parents rooting their children on to victory and also seeing children rooting for their parents as they play in their games.”
Although this is a competition, Spilios tells us that there is truly a presence of brotherhood and camaraderie. He said, “I see a genuine and tremendous sense of love and respect amongst all teams and participants involved. It truly is a beautiful sight to see.”
In looking forward to the 2017 event, Spilios states, “…to our returning and new participants, in the spirit of true sportsmanship and Christianity, I wish you all the best of luck in your practices and preparations…It is our goal that our participants meet, participate, and propagate sportsmanship and love while holding high the banner of Christianity.”
The 2017 tournament will take place October 13-15, 2017 at Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in San Jose, CA. For more information, contact George Spilios at 408-806-1699 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
2016 Winning Results: Jr. Goya: Ta Karfakia, Annunciation, San Francisco; Goyan: Dropping Dimes, St. Nicholas, San Jose; Young Adult: Lucky 7, St. Nicholas, San Jose; Adult: Belmont Blasters, Holy Cross, Belmont.
Email the author: Giuliana