Van Garderen heads for the beach to team up with Varenhorst
Van Garderen, who is playing volleyball in the Italian A1 with Bunge Ravenna, will join up with Beach Volleyball Team Netherlands after he completes his commitments with his club team.
Previously, the 27-year-old Van Garderen has played in France (Beauvais), Germany (Friedrichshafen) and the Netherlands (Renswouw, SSS and Orion). He made his debut for the national team in 2012.
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He was approached several months ago about playing beach volleyball and made his decision after consulting with his coaches and the federation.
“I was surprised when Christiaan Varenhorst and coach Gijs Ronnes approached me,” Van Garderen admits. "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.
“I find beach volleyball to be a wonderful sport and I think the game suits me. I must of course start from scratch, but it would be a dream to compete at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.”
“Maarten is technically very gifted and has good ball skills," says coach Gijs Ronnes of 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.”
Van Garderen is likely to play on the World Tour starting in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in May. There is also a chance that he will return to play volleyball in Italy in the 2017-18 season.
The move by Van Garderen means he will not be available for the Dutch indoor volleyball team this summer.
“That's been a very difficult decision," he says. "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.”
"I am very disappointed that Maarten is no longer available for the Dutch team,” Dutch coach Gido Vermeulen stated.