Lausanne, Switzerland, February 6, 2015 – When Dutch duo Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen stormed to a sensational gold medal at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships Mazury 2013 they shocked the beach volleyball world.
It was the first time a team from the Netherlands had won the tournament and was also the furthest both had gone in any FIVB competition. To say they tore up the form book would be an understatement.
Since then the pair have been on the podium just once – at the 2013 Xiamen Grand Slam in China – but Brouwer is banking on the home fans to help him and Meeuwsen pull off another surprise run to gold when the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships The Netherlands 2014 takes place from June 26 to July 5.
Birth Date: November 3, 1989
Hometown: The Hague, The Netherlands
When did you start playing beach volleyball?
At the age of 15 I started playing volleyball in my hometown Groningen. From the start I combined indoor volleyball during winter months and beach volleyball in summer.
From what moment on did you set your eyes on a professional beach volleyball career?
In 2006 my former partner (Pelle Klein) and I qualified for the FIVB Beach Volleyball U21 Junior World Championships in Bermuda. At the time I was also playing in the national indoor league, but the experience of that tournament was decisive for my choice to focus on beach volleyball.
Is there already a World Championships buzz in the Netherlands?
People are becoming increasingly curious of what the event will look like. Every time news about the venues is announced, I receive a many messages. It seems beach volleyball is really taking off in the Netherlands.
In what way are you involved yourself in the organisation of the event?
As players we do not have an official role, however we are regularly invited to attend at press conferences and official gatherings. However, by posting good results we can generate extra exposure for the event. I think both our men’s and women’s teams have done pretty well.
In 2013 you and Robert became world champions. What did the result mean for your status?
It has changed a lot in how people see us. At the end of the year we were awarded the team of the year award in the Netherlands. Honestly it has not been easy. We felt more pressure and opponents are highly motivated to play against us. I think this year we learnt how to cope with this new status.
What do you do in your spare time?
I like to sports in general. In our training group we have some real good table tennis players. We tend to have a lot of competitions among players, physiotherapists and coaches.
What is your favourite holiday destination?
I have always been a great fan of winter sports. I love snowboarding in the Alps. Yet, being a professional athlete I am not allowed, because of the risks involved. It will have to wait for a couple of more years before hitting the slopes again.
The World Championships will be played on four unique venues. What is the most special location you ever played?
Playing the Junior World Championships in Bermuda as a teenager was an incredible experience. The event was held on Horseshoe Bay, a beach known for its beautiful pink sand. That week a hurricane hit Bermuda, as a result we had to stay five days longer. I’ll never forget that trip.