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Team Saint Louis Athlete Spotlight: Bart Holland

You know him, you love him; we are reviving our Athlete Spotlight with a great volleyball & kickball player. He's been a staple in the Team Saint Louis community for lots & lots of years. He's a great human.

Yep, it's Bart Holland.

Here's more about our good friend, Bart:

Occupation: Director of Marketing, Communications & Events for Parents as Teachers National Center

How long have you been involved with Team Saint Louis (TSL) & in what capacity? I started playing volleyball with Team St. Louis (TSL) around 2008, when it was introduced to me by a good friend. Having no prior experience playing volleyball or other sports for that matter, I knew nothing about the game, but quickly fell in love with it. The league has allowed me to meet so many great people, whom many have become longtime friends. At one point, I coordinated the league for around five years & really enjoyed giving back to the league in any way I could. It was really important for me to help grow awareness of LGBTQ+ sports. In the past, I have also played several seasons in the Kickball league, which was equally as fun & took me back to my childhood days of playing it on the playground. I have lent my help to the TSL booths at Pride on a few occasions, as giving back is what is most important to me. I also enjoy helping out with the annual Invitational Volleyball Tournament. In the past, I have hosted the Hospitality Suite for several years at the host hotel. I enjoy seeing the players come from all over to play. Each year, I try to help out with registration to continue to give back. I look forward to continuing to be involved in TSL in any capacity I can.

What was your experience with sports growing up? I really didn't play sports growing up, as I was mostly a band geek! I loved being in the band & putting on that show for the crowd. When I went to college, was when I developed a love for sports, attending college football & basketball games (Go Salukis) as much as I could at my alma mater. In my adult life, I have definitely developed that love for the St. Louis Cardinals & St. Louis Blues. I still get jazzed for the NCAA tourney each year & while my bracket is always busted, March Madness is still a fun time for me.

What is your favorite TSL sport & why? I would definitely say volleyball is my favorite TSL sport. I love the teamwork aspect of it & working together to get that win. There is so much passion that comes along with players & the team; that excitement of working together is what life is all about. If more people could work together for the greater good, like you have to do on the volleyball court, the world would be a better place.

Why are organizations like TSL important to our community? Organizations like TSL are so important to our community because they serve as outlets for members of the community that may not feel as comfortable being a part of other organizations out there. They are so instrumental in supporting those that may have been bullied, felt alone, not felt included, etc. & it is so important for everyone to support organizations like TSL for that reason. Also, having organizations like TSL are so important for visibility purposes. Making our community visible is so important in erasing the stigma that comes along with being LGBTQ+. These organizations allow for people to build a friend circle & have a new family in which they may not have otherwise. It is definitely important that organizations like TSL exist & it is my hope that people continue to support them for many years to come.

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