Christiaan Varenhorst, a beach volleyball player that competed at the Rio Olympics has found a new partner in Maarten van Garderen. Varenhorst’s previous partner was Reinder Nummerdor, with whom he competed with at the Olympic Games.
Van Garderen will join up with Varenhorst after he finishes with his commitment to the Italian A1 club Bunge Ravenna. Originally, van Garderen has played in France (Beauvais), Germany (Friedrichshafen) and in the Netherlands (Renswouw, SSS and Orion). His national team debut with the Netherlands was back in 2012.
Several months ago, van Garderen was approached about playing beach volleyball, but would not make a decision on it until he talked with his coaches and the federation.
“I was surprised when Christiaan Varenhorst and coach Gijs Ronnes approached me,” said van Garderen. “When a world-class player of the caliber of Christiaan Varenhorst comes calling, you have to think about it. We had a good talk in Italy and came to an agreement.”
Having to start from scratch, as he has never played professional beach volleyball, van Garderen dreams of playing in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
“Maarten is technically very gifted and has good ball skill,” said coach Ronnes of the Beach Volleyball Team Netherlands. “We went looking for the best candidate to play with Christian and approached him. Maarten has the potential to be a very good beach volleyball player.”
Beginning in May, van Garderen looks to begin on the World Tour in Rio de Janeiro. There is also a good chance that he will return to play volleyball in Italy in the 2017-18 season. The move to the beach would mean that he will not be available for the Dutch indoor volleyball team this summer.
“That’s been a very difficult decision,” said van Garderen. “I have invested a lot in my career and we have made much progress with the Oranje in recent years. But I couldn’t pass up this chance to play with Christiaan Varenhorst.”