A big boost after a long period of injuries.
Sarah Coles and Lisa van den Vonder put their names and Belgium on the map in the world of beach volleyball. The Belgian pair were the strongest at the Futures tournament in Mallorca – along with the Elite16 and Challenger tournaments, the more accessible competition for non-professionals.
“To be able to win a future championship in Mallorca from the qualifiers is a truly unique achievement,” says coach Eric van Drum.
Especially since places on the beach volleyball court are limited.
“There aren’t many tournaments on the beach volleyball schedule, so the demand to play is much greater than the supply,” says Van Drum. Precisely for this reason, it is not clear to participate, especially since the duo has fallen in the world rankings.
However, after a long road to the top, they were victorious on the Spanish island.
Thanks to the Belgian success, Van Drum hopes that the sport will continue to grow in our country.
The coach says: “Beach volleyball is an emerging sport in Belgium since the Corona pandemic.” “Then a lot of players moved from the hall to the sand.”
A beach volleyball school was established in Leuven and many schools and clubs also jumped on the bandwagon.
“Sports get more attention, but that doesn’t make players professionals,” Van Drum says. He stresses that it is not intuitive for a Belgian to set foot next to the Qatari teams where the beach volleyball culture lives.
He added: “We also do not have the support of the Belgian Federation, so it is difficult to play in major international tournaments and thus make progress in the world rankings.”
So Cools and Van den Vonder have to seek financial help themselves.
“Thanks to the tremendous efforts of their club VST Lions Beach Volley, they were able to train well and play foreign tournaments,” Van Drum concluded with gratitude.
No one can take away the fairy tale about Mallorca.
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