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Account n.1

In April 2006, Jérôme and me had decided to go to the BeachVolleyCenter to prepare our season, the Smart Tour in Belgium. Unfortunately, 2 days before the start, Jérôme was sent to hospital because of a meningitis. The tickets was nominal, not refundable, I decided to travel alone.
A sportive and human adventure.
The adventure begins before to arrive to the Center. The journey is part of the pleasure of a training period in the BeachVolleyCenter. The crossing of regions outside of the touristy ways prepare me at what was waiting for me over there. I discovered first an open house at the ocean side. The terrace of my room is front of the waves. The ground doesn’t look like those I use to practice in Belgium, artificial and surrounded with wire netting. It is framed by the breeze of the sea and by coconuts threes. It gives at once a different dimension to this sport. Even if we sweet a lot in it, some times even get hungry, it is with a real pleasure that every morning we walk upon it. Jef is surely one of the biggest surprises of the center. A Swiss guy in the middle of the Brazilians, a passionate person for the sport in the middle of the jungle…An adventurer who is as curious and interested by the human contacts he gets through his guests, as by the sport he teaches and practices daily. The day is the way we want. In my case, it was beach, beach and beach again! I woke up at about 7.00, rich breakfast, and let’s go to the ground! At the end of the afternoon, the native players come to challenge the “gringo”, only tough games! When every body is exhausted, we all dive together in the next river of the village, under the tropical Brazilian sky. You can only believe it if you see it. For Jef takes care of the sport’s side, Isabel prepare for us delicious typical meals, and calm down our thirst with exotic fruits juices I never heard the name before.

A conclusion? A general impression? Quickly and shortly: I will return in 2007!

Julien COEMANS, Belgium, May 2006.

Account n.2

An amazing small village of Brazil, Cumuruxatiba stays at the sea cost in the state of Bahia, about 16 hours away by bus from Rio de Janeiro. The last 30 km take a road xxxxxx, we really believe we will arrive to the end of the world! A beach ground in the middle of coconuts trees, on one side the ocean, on the other the river, which serves as a municipal swimming pool, here we are at the BeachVolleyCenter, at Jef’s.

And here we met a group of young beach volleyball players, who surprised us by the quality of their game and their gentleness. Native people who play just for the fun, so cool, every body playing with ever body and accepting so nicely the level of our game. At the leading is Jef, who cares that the morning practice starts before 08.30, to avoid the hit of the sun, he is not Swiss for nothing! A touch of rigor for the practices, a touch of pedagogy to comfort us and let us progress quickly, a touch of competition to motivate us during the exercises very ludic and varies, a touch of joke to care of the spirit.The break for the lunch arrives, we all dive in the river which conquests us at once. In the afternoon, after a well deserved break used to sleep, to play cards, or to take a bike to visit the village at the around beaches, we meet our Brazilian partners and play on the 3 grounds until everybody gets broken. Jef is all around, correcting, explaining, encourageant, changing the teams to balance the games.

After the volley, we try to rest: we honour the delicious meals made by Isabel, and then play cards or billiard, with caipirinhas and frozen beer for the taste of those stars full nights.

We spent in a familial ambiance a tiring but exceptional week of intensive beach volley which let us all progress a lot and left a strong feeling in our head: let’s go on with the 2X2!

Jean-Pierre BOZONNAT, for the Air France Team of Nice, France, december 2007.