11/06/2018 10:50
Beach volleyball pioneer Schoon-Kadijk happy with coaching Dutch rising stars
2017-2018 CEV Youth Beach Volleyball Continental Cup

Baden, Austria, June 11, 2018. Debora Schoon-Kadijk, a silver and bronze medal winner from the European Beach Volleyball Championship in 1998 and 2000, and an Olympian from Atlanta 1996 and Sydney 2000, has not left Beach Volleyball for a second after finishing her competitive career, that run throughout most of the 90s. Eighteen years later she still works as a coach, and especially with junior and youth teams back home in The Netherlands. At the CEV Youth Beach Volleyball Continental Cup Finals in Baden, Debora was coaching Dutch duo Emi van Driel and her own daughter Raïsa Schoon, who finished sixth, just missing out on qualification to the Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires, but Schoon-Kadijk remains confident about her team’s future. 

During her career, Beach Volleyball in The Netherlands was yet to be on the rise and Debora had to seek knowledge and training elsewhere. She worked with coaches from Brazil, Italy and Germany to learn as much as possible about her craft. The thought of coaching after finishing playing Beach Volleyball came quite soon, when Debora was bound to play at the Olympic Games in Sydney in 2000 with her sister Rebekka Kadijk. “My sister is 10 years younger than me, so I was teaching her how to play,” she explains. Playing in Sydney with her sister was one of the most memorable moments of her career, but the first time she qualified for the Olympic Games (four years earlier in Atlanta) was equally special. 

After working with her sister, she realised she loved to coach young players, many of whom represented The Netherlands later at the Olympic Games in Beijing 2008 and London 2012. “All of the teams that went to the next Olympics in London and Beijing have started with me. It was a great experience to coach and teach them,” she recalls. 

Debora was surrounded by her family when playing Beach Volleyball, so it was not a surprise that her daughter followed in her footsteps. Their work together evolved very naturally, says Debora. “Raïsa is very clever, so we feel each other and know what we need, so we don’t have to use many words. It’s a great feeling. I taught her since she was six years old and she has won a lot so far. Raïsa and Emi do very well in the highest level of the senior Dutch Tour, I don’t really need to coach them a lot anymore,” Kadijk praises her daughter and her partner Emi van Driel.

Emi van Driel and Raïsa Schoon competed at the 2018 CEV Youth Beach Volleyball Continental Cup in Baden, where they finished 6th. 

Debora is confident of their level and the results they will achieve in the future. “Raïsa will be much better than me. I wasn’t that good,” she laughs. “I qualified for the Olympics and won a silver and a bronze medal at the European Championship, but she has so much more. She and Emi are special. I think they have a nice future ahead of them. Of course you never know what will happen. They are young and the main thing is that they enjoy it and it is their choice to continue playing. Raïsa loves to play but if she wants to do something else, that’s great too.” 

Debora doesn’t miss playing, even when watching her players in the sand. She loves coaching and she knows playing times are finished. But her current profession is not just about teaching others, as Debora loves to learn herself. “Since I finished after the Sydney Olympics, I haven’t stopped learning. I do it every day and I love to look into other sports like football or ice skating. I want to learn everything there is about professional coaching,” she said. 

Despite the upset in Baden, Debora and her team Emi van Driel and Raïsa Schoon have more challenges ahead of them. The team are hoping to qualify for the upcoming 2018 CEV Beach Volleyball European Championship in The Netherlands in July, where they will be competing with top senior teams from all over Europe.

News nr. 1 of 27
10/06/2018 18:37:00
Russia and Sweden win gold at #CEVContinentalCup, Poland and England join European delegation at Youth Olympics

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