Despite only being active for two years, twin brothers Daniel and Fabio Pfeifer have been making strides in local beach volleyball.
They usually play in pairs, and Fabio says it is an advantage for them to play this way.
“I prefer playing with my brother. We get along really well. We noticed there are quite a few teams which play that way over the world. For us, it is good because we know each other. We understand each other because we spend so much time with each other” he said.
He further explains that they started playing in 2013 because a lot of their friends were into beach volleyball. They got enrolled at a training session, and started competing in 2014 at the DTS Open Champs at the DTS Sports Club.
“We didn’t do too well as we didn’t have a lot of experience, but it was great for us to just get off the ground. We played in the Mixed Open category, which is the entry- level category for competitors”, Fabio explained.
A career highlight for the pair came early this year at the Swakopmund Open when they got to compete in the Men’s category.
Fabio explains that it was a great opportunity to face normal competition, and not just face the juniors, which he said will go a long way in developing them.
Although the brothers play beach volleyball, they are Windhoek residents and usually play at the DTS Sports Club on a surface of collected sand gathered on top of a mat, which the brothers say can be a bit challenging.
“The natural beach is the best place to play; we have had two tournaments there so far. The sand is softer, for one. The sand which is collected for games in the city sometimes has stones in it, which can make playing a bit uncomfortable. Also, when it rains, the sand can become hard”, Daniel chipped in.
The Deutsche Höhere Privatschule Windhoek (DHPS) students say they are happy that finances aren’t an issue for them as beach volleyball is not as costly, but one of their biggest challenges is their height.
“We are not tall, so when we face tall opponents, it can be tough for us. It helps to be a tall guy. It’s easier to block and defend, so it just means we have to work harder on our defence” Daniel continued.
They also lamented the fact that there is only one beach volleyball club in Windhoek, and none in Swakopmund. Daniel explains that this would help create more playing opportunities as the more they play, the more experience they would gain.
“In future, we would like to play internationally, and we would also like to see more tournaments, possibly inviting South African competitors so that we are exposed to an international level of competition”, Daniel noted.
Coach of the twins, James Verrinder, said, “They boys have progressed impressively. They started when they were only 14 and have managed to compete against older opponents.” He added, “Beach volley ball has been growing in Namibia over the last five and six years, especially in Windhoek and the Erongo region. We’re trying to push it towards other regions such as Zambezi as there is a lot of interest.“
The pair’s next competition will be at the Red Bull Winter Classic to be held on 11 Juuly at the DTS beach volleyball arena.