The International Volleyball Hall of Fame is pleased to introduce the Mayoral Award of Excellence. The award is an opportunity to recognize a person, group or organization that has directly contributed to the sport of volleyball or the International Volleyball Hall of Fame and represents the ideals and spirit of the City of Holyoke, Massachusetts – the birthplace of volleyball. The award will be given at the discretion of the sitting Mayor of Holyoke supported by the IVHF Board of Directors.
The inaugural award will go to Hector ‘Picky’ Soto, a prominent Puerto Rican volleyball player and a 2019 inductee to the Puerto Rican Sports Hall of Fame. Picky captured 3 Central America & Caribbean Games gold medals with the Puerto Rican Men’s National Team and was named Top Scorer of the 2006 FIVB World Championship (271 points) and 2007 FIVB World Cup. Picky’s 271 points still stand as the record for most points in an FIVB World Championship.
“Picky Soto, the Pride of Puerto Rico, is a volleyball superstar,” City of Holyoke Mayor Joshua Garcia said. “He has been a high scorer and a Most Valuable Player from his college days in Indiana to his professional career that brought him from Puerto Rico to Italy, Russia, Japan, Korea, Belgium, Turkey, and Tunisia. As Mayor of the City of Holyoke, the Birthplace of Volleyball, it will be my honor and privilege to recognize Arroyo native Picky Soto with the inaugural Mayoral Award of Excellence.”
“On behalf of the IVHF Board of Directors, we welcome Mr. Hector ‘Picky’ Soto as the inaugural recipient of the newly established Mayoral Award of Excellence,” commented IVHF President Steve Bishop. “Mr. Soto’s contributions to volleyball and the Federation of Puerto Rico are numerous. He has a storied career that merits recognition and this award will record his name in history alongside some of the sport’s greatest athletes, coaches, officials and leaders from around the world. We celebrate Mr. Soto and welcome him to the IVHF family.”
The presentation to Picky Soto will take place on Wednesday, February 15, 2023 in Arroyo, Puerto Rico. Joining Holyoke Mayor Garcia will be the Mayor of Arroyo, Mr. Eric Roman and representatives from the Volleyball Federation of Puerto Rico.
About the IVHF
Located in Holyoke, Massachusetts - the birthplace of volleyball - the International Volleyball Hall of Fame is an independent non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to honoring the legends, recognizing the greats, and preserving the history of volleyball worldwide. The Hall of Fame museum is home to more than 160 inductees from 25 countries and over 5,000 square feet of volleyball history. Thousands of people visit the Hall of Fame museum each year to learn about the game and experience the exhibits. Best known for its annual Induction Celebration honoring the game’s elite, the IVHF also operates over a dozen youth, high school, and collegiate competitions and programs annually. You can be a part of honoring and preserving the history of volleyball by joining the IVHF Membership Program. To learn more, visit https://www.volleyhall.org/membership.html.
The IVHF exists to honor the legends, recognize the greats, and preserve the history of volleyball.