Professional beach volleyball comes to San Jose

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Some of the world's top professional beach volleyball players are in the South Bay this weekend for the inaugural Platform 1440 San Jose Invitational.

"People know so much about this sport," said San Jose resident Jim McNamee, who was attending the first day of the three-day festival. "You'll sit here and talk to someone next to you and they'll be the parents of a player."

A beach volleyball oasis set up in the heart of Silicon Valley on the grounds of Avaya Stadium. The event is the brainchild of San Jose native and three-time Olympic Gold Medalist, Kerri Walsh Jennings.1440 represents the total number of minutes in a single day.

"We want to inspire the world," she said. "Young, old, wherever you are, to be in the moment, because that's where our power is. That's where the juice of life is."

San Jose Sports Authority executive director John Poch is proud of yet another big event coming to the region.

"That's what the sports authority is all about," said Poch. "What can we do to bring events in and help promote events with our partners in the region to celebrate our lifestyle in the Bay Area?"

The festival includes a professional tournament and multiple concerts, as well as personal development, and health and wellness activities for the entire family.

You'll notice a lot of nearby construction if it's been awhile since your last trip to Avaya. Earthquakes Way is currently closed, meaning visitors can only access parking off Aviation Avenue. Even local companies like Zanotto's are involved with the launch this year.

"It's so cool that we get to be here and represent Bay Area small business, healthful foods, and support Kerri in this awesome event," said Khadija Zanotto of Zanotto's Family Markets.

As fans get a chance to see some of the sport's biggest starts in an intimate setting, some can't help but reflect on this new movement, born right here in the Bay Area.

"Everyone can learn and play this sport, so why not be here, and see what it's like," said San Jose resident Jeene Leahy.

Tickets are still available. ABC7 will air the final round of competition on Sunday afternoon.
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