A week after the Las Vegas strip was declared a national hotspot, a new trend has popped up: a beach volleyball club.
Nowhere else in America is there a more inclusive space for women.
At a club called Belly Up, women can enjoy a game of beach volleyball, a game with little to no restrictions.
They can bring friends, sit on the mat, and even play volleyball in a bikini.
But the women who run Belly up are in the business to cater to men.
Their aim is to bring the beach volleyball community into the 21st century and make it an inclusive place.
Their mission statement: “We want to empower women to play volleyball at home with our own style and our own fun, without the restrictions that make the beach a haven for bad guys and bad boys.”
That’s because the club is also dedicated to women’s health.
Their goal is to create a community of people who can make the best of the challenges and obstacles that women face every day.
“It’s important for us to talk about our bodies and our bodies are just a part of our body,” says club founder and CEO Lauren O’Neill.
“We don’t just make our bodies better, we make our lives better.”
O’Neil says that since her business started, the club has grown to more than 200 women and is looking to hire more staff members.
They’re also looking for sponsorships, but that’s a difficult task when you’re a strip club with only one business, according to O’Malley.
They don’t have the resources to create an actual club, but they do have some support from the city.
“Our hope is that when we’re able to open up the club to more people, that we can also make it a community hub for all women,” O’Reilly says.
“That’s what our mission is.”
OJ Locker is the founder and co-owner of BellyUp, a beach-virus-free women’s beach volleyball group.
She says the beach is a sanctuary for all of the women that live and play here.
“If you are one of the people who have been affected by beach-wide virus, you are more than welcome,” she says.
O’Locker says that Belly ups club members come from all walks of life and have different experiences.
They are women, men, and children.
She adds that all women have been in the same situation, whether they’ve been in a club or not.
OJ says that the beach has allowed them to connect and be in close contact with one another.
She also says that a lot of men feel they’re in a bubble and think they can’t even meet women on the beach.
But that’s not the case.
Oj says that because she’s a woman, she feels she has a special place in the club.
She sees it as a way to empower others.
“I think it’s really empowering,” she said.
“Because you’re here, you’re playing volleyball, you can be with your friends, you feel like you belong.”
O J says that her team started the club after she was diagnosed with Lyme disease.
O J is a mother of two and is also a member of the community.
She started the group because she needed a safe space for a group of friends to play together.
“This is what women want to do,” O J said.
“[We want] to play, we play volleyball, and we have a community where we can have a good time.”
The beach volleyball at Belly Ups is a game where no one is forced to be there, but all are welcome.
“They can come play, sit, play with their friends, or do whatever they want,” OJ explains.