The Hague, Netherlands, April 20, 2015 - Michel Everaert is the Sports Director at the Dutch Volleyball Federation (Nevobo) and member of the organising committee of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships The Netherlands 2015. He is also a former player and participated in the 1996 Olympic Games with Dutch team-mate Sander Mulder.
As the 2015 edition of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour gets underway in Fuzhou, Everaert speaks about ongoing preparations for this summer's big event in the Netherlands, which will see the world's top beach volleyball teams descend on the competition's four host cities The Hague, Amsterdam, Apeldoorn and Rotterdam.
"Only 10 weeks to go! You can feel the World Championships approaching really fast. Almost every day I am visiting volleyball clubs in the Netherlands and I notice that people are very involved already. The four special venues, the festive atmosphere and the world class teams coming to the Netherlands appeal to many.
"Last week the match schedule was announced. During the pool phase, every day a Dutch team will be in action in each city. As a sports fan, you’ll be spoilt for choice. I’ve already marked some matches I definitely have to see.
"This week, the beach volleyball season officially kicks off with the first tournament of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour. For the Netherlands, four teams have traveled to China. I hope they will post a good result, but I can understand that these teams want to be in top shape in ten weeks’ time only. The Fuzhou Open is therefore not a real indicator of their chances at the World Championships. A good result would be nice for the confidence of the teams, but peaking this early in the season is undesirable.
"Being a former player, I regularly think back to my own career as a player. Sometimes I talk about it with former colleagues. We agree on how nice it would be to be a player in this era. Playing the World Championships in front of a home crowd is something each athlete wants to experience. But I feel privileged to be involved in the role I have now. We are realising a project which will benefit a lot of beach volleyball players in the Netherlands for a really long time.
"It will be an intense period of ten weeks. At the moment, I'm mainly focusing on how to use the World Championships for the future development of our sport. How can we make sure that the popularity of (beach) volleyball will keep increasing? We have to look further than July 5, the day of the men’s final. The World Championships is an end point, a wonderful beach volleyball party of ten days which we have been looking forward to for many years. It is, however, above all a chance to put our sport under the spotlight."Player bio
Michel Everaert played on the international beach volleyball circuit from 1994 through to 1997 and participated in the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. He and team-mate Sander Mulder finished seventh at a World Series event in Alanya, Turkey in 1996 and also enjoyed top-ten finishes in Brazil (twice), Korea, France, Belgium, South Africa, Spain and USA.