01/09/2014 10:00
Amazing scenery of Jurmala beach captured by international referee candidate Martin Karner
2014 CEV Beach Volleyball Satellites - Jurmala

Jurmala, Latvia, September 1, 2014. The CEV Satellite in Jurmala that came to a close on Sunday was a major success and most probably only the first major international event to take place in Latvia. The 2,000-seat centre court set up on Majori beach as well as the general organisation of the tournament have received positive reviews by everyone who resumed to the venue, including CEV President André Meyer who stopped in Jurmala during his visit to Latvia. One of the international referees attending the tournament, Martin Karner of Austria, enjoyed the opportunity of being there to also take a series of wonderful photos of the venue, thereby conveying a very interesting perspective on the tournament.  

Karner has been a national Beach Volleyball referee in his home country since 2008 and last year attended the International Candidate Referees Course held in Vaduz, Liechtenstein. He has a very strong connection with Volleyball having played semi-professionally from 1996 before he stopped about 10 years later in order to focus on a coaching career. Karner has worked with youth teams first and after that made it to Austria’s women’s first division as co-trainer. “It was only in 2008 when I turned my passion for Beach Volleyball into something more than a hobby,” he recounts. “Actually I first got involved in this sport back in 2001 as Klagenfurt played host to the FIVB World Championship and I was a line judge there during the competition. I attended the same tournament for another 10 consecutive years, always as line judge, and in 2012 was appointed as co-ordinator and manager of all line-judges. It was somehow a natural step to move on and become a referee. Back in 2008 I attended a national referee course under the guidance of our instructor Andrea Haas. She and Peter Glanzer have been my mentors since my early days in this sport and finally on Sunday I could whistle my first international final match at the CEV Satellite in Jurmala.”

But where do his passion and talent for photography come from? “I think they are rooted in my interest and passion for beauty, nature and sports,” Karner says. “On top of this, I love people that share my passions and if I can keep snapshots of their actions, this adds even more satisfaction to my job as referee. I also felt like this tournament in Jurmala – which was being organised by very professional and kind people – needed to be supported and promoted in any possible way, so I decided to take some, hopefully, nice pictures of the venue and the surroundings. This way I may help showcase the excellent work they have done. Anyway, photography is just a hobby, since in my everyday life I am leading a team of network engineers working for A1, Austria’s mobile and fixed-line network operator, which is also the main sponsor of the Grand Slam tournament in Klagenfurt.”

Karner reveals something more about his beauty shots: “I have taken about 30 pictures, doing so after my matches or maybe just in between my assignments. I got my inspiration when I first saw the awesome view you can get from the centre court with the Baltic Sea in the background, and then started using my mobile phone as a camera. The first time I saw the stadium and the venue I immediately fell in love with this tournament.”

It was Karner’s first time in Latvia: “Taking photos was a good way for me to relax, get ready for the next matches and continue to follow the actions at the same time. I really enjoyed the company of the people, officials, players, referees: they all have been really nice. That is also why I love Beach Volleyball so much: it is all about this positive atmosphere and ambiance you can get to feel.”

Taking photos from the tribunes is much different than to follow the match from the referee stand: “When you stand there, you simply live with the game, even though you do not show this to the audience,” Karner says. “You develop some kind of empathy with the players and you understand their emotions and reactions very well. However, there are rules to follow and referees are there to apply them correctly. I would say that every match where the presence of the referees is not fully realised by the audience and even by the players on the court is a good match. The players are there to put on a show for the audience. We, as referees, are there only to support them and to work at their service.”

Karner is still a candidate referee and Sunday was a special day not only for the Latvian fans in attendance but also for him since he whistled his first international final: “It was amazing,” he says. “I could feel the continuous cheer of the crowd behind me and the stadium was sold out. It was an amazing experience to stand there in front of such crowd and with two home teams playing. Even though the temperature stood at about 25 degrees, I got goose bumps for almost the whole match. I am just in love with this sport.”

News nr. 1 of 11
31/08/2014 18:30:00
Samoilovs and Smedins claim all-Latvian final to delight record crowd

Advanced Search
Open the calendar popup.
Open the calendar popup.

There are no matches appointed for today

CEV Beach Volley Social Media