Rotterdam, the Netherlands, June 29, 2015 – Rebekka Kadijk (36) said her goodbyes as a professional beach volleyball player in 2008, but she is still in love with the sport. That’s why she did not hesitate when asked to be one of the ambassadors for the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships.
So she took off from work, left her kids with the grandparents and hops from one interview to another this week as the ambassador for Rotterdam, the city she lives in.
She is very proud of the Rotterdam venue, the Katendrecht peninsula with the iconic ss Rotterdam as decor. “The ss is one of the biggest and most famous boats ever”, Rebekka says. “You can sleep on the boat, everything is close to the courts and it’s a nice spot for visitors and players.”
On Monday she opened the kids corner next to the stadium. “The kids are the future. Kids nowadays tend to eat too much and don’t exercise enough. Here in the kids corner they play, they can dive in the sand and see how nice beach volleyball is. We have a lot of volleyball clubs in this area and we hope they will come back an join one of the clubs.”
Rebekka is a big supporter of the Dutch teams, of course, but: “There are three really good Brazilian teams and don’t forget Kerri Walsh. On the men’s side I expect a lot from the Americans and Brazilians.”
She gets a bit melancholic when she watches the matches at the World Championships. “I lived for beach volleyball for many years and it’s still in my heart. When I am watching the matches I am thinking ‘Why am I not playing’, but on the other hand I have had my time and I am ok with being an ambassador.”
Kadijk played on the World Tour from 1997 till 2008, with her sister Debora and later on with Marit Leenstra and Merel Mooren. She is a three-time Olympian, participated in eight World Championships and holds the Dutch record with nine national championship titles.