Obituary – Jouke de Haan (1947 – 2022)

It is with great sadness that the world of sitting volleyball bids goodbye to a true legend of the discipline after many years spent dedicated to its development.

Jouke de Haan coached the national sitting volleyball teams of the Netherlands, Germany and Egypt with great success and was instrumental in the development of the sitting volleyball teams of Rwanda that led to their eventual participation in the Paralympic Games.

Last month the World ParaVolley Board of Directors awarded Honorary Life membership to Jouke de Haan – only the 4th person to receive the honour to date, to acknowledge his long-term dedication to the coaches and athletes of sitting volleyball around the world.

ParaVolley Europe has lost one of its greatest contributor to the cause and offers sincere condolences to his family and many friends all over the world.

Jouke de Haan

Below is an interview that Jouke did for the Dutch website – to remember his great work and achievements.

Who are you and what do you do? Introduce yourself. Age?

Jouke de Haan, born 10th July 1947 – Retired BO teacher and worked in Doesburg, Zutphen, Apeldoorn

What are your Coach experiences with (sitting) Volleyball? 

  • 1968-1980      Volleyball coach and player NeVoBo
  • 1980-1982      Club trainer/coach Sitting Volleyball
  • 1982-1992      Coach/trainer National Men’s sitting volleyball team Netherlands
  • 1998-2003     Coach/trainer National Men’s sitting volleyball team Germany
  • 2006-2008    Coach/trainer Egypt National Men’s Sitting Volleyball Team
  • 2008-2010     Coach/trainer National Men’s sitting volleyball team Rwanda
  • 2010                Coach/Trainer National Men’s Sitting Volleyball Team Germany

Why did you start coaching?

It was a general challenge to enable and improve training/coaching of volleyball and later sitting volleyball, in addition to one’s own professional activities as a BO teacher.

What is your motivation for sitting volleyball in particular? 

Can sitting volleyball be played with the (adapted) techniques of volleyball?

What have been the differences for you as a trainer between Volleyball and Sitting Volleyball, in particular with regard to the double function of the arms and legs.

To be honest, there are no differences where the dual function of arms and legs has a very important difference with volleyball.

There are specific skills for training on moving and playing.

Do you also have international experience(s)? If yes which one? 

Here is my (inter)national CV

– 1968 – 1980: Coach/Player national Dutch volleyball league (NeVoBo)

– 1980 – 1982: Coach Club level Sitting Volleyball “BRAVO” Apeldoorn/NL

– 1982 – 1992: Head coach Dutch National team Sitting Volleyball (men)

– 1985: Published “Sitting Volleyball” first edition, translation into English and Spanish

– 1986: Instructor Sitting Volleyball seminar Algeria.

– 1987: Instructor Sitting Volleyball Seminar Malaysia

– 1993 – 1995: Member ECVD (European Committee Volleyball for Disabled)

– 1996: Assistant Chef de Mission Dutch Paralympic Team Atlanta

– 1998 – 2003: Head coach German National team Sitting Volleyball men

– 2007: Instructor Sitting Volleyball Cape Verdi Islands for “OnskentOns” foundation

– 2006 – 2008: Head coach Egyptian National team Sitting Volleyball men

– 2005: WOVD Senior Instructor : Cape Verde, Ankara, Madeira, Rwanda, Cameroun, Rome, Cape Town, Luxembourg, France

– 2008 – 2009: Head instructor Sitting Volleyball courses under NeVoBo flag

– 2008: Coach/Advisor national team Sitting Volleyball men of Rwanda

– 2010: Coach/Head Coach German National Sitting Volleyball team men at WC USA

– 2011: Member of ISAC/Foundation “I Support a Coach”

– 2012: Manager Alterno/club team Sitting Volleyball Apeldoorn/NL/National Champion

– 2013 : Member VolleySLIDE/Level 0 – WorldParaVolley

               Honored Member of Club Alterno

               Knight of Royal Member Oranje Nassau

– 2014 – 2017: Chair Coaches Commission officially appointed by World ParaVolley.

– 2018 – 2020: Instructor clinics the Netherlands/Germany/France/Belgium

What is/was the best moment as a (sitting volleyball) coach?

The 1983 World Championship in Delden.   In addition, my first Paralympic Gold in New York in 1984.

How do you experience the classification inspections in sitting volleyball and should they change?

Bad experience in several major tournaments . Should be much better! WorldParaVolley should autonomously regulate for at least 4 years.

Have you been able to share your experiences with other (national) coaches?

Often enough, but always clear agreements were made with international federations.

What could be the motivation to start practicing sitting volleyball as a player?

Physical disability, together with players who can no longer play standing, alternation from volleyball to sitting volleyball, playing sitting volleyball with a temporary injury.

What do you think is needed to promote sitting volleyball more ?

Activating and planning with the national volleyball association to promote sitting volleyball. Clinics possibly, along with volleyball activities. Work plan to match sports development with volleyball activity.

Is sitting volleyball a real and recognized sport in the Netherlands and for which target group?

Experiences within the Netherlands show that it is a real sport. Recognition will have to be enforced through the national volleyball association. The target audience is wide! Everyone can participate!

Would it be useful to pay attention to this sport and the target group in volleyball training?

It has been tried several times in the past, but has been structurally insufficiently included in the programmes.

 If you are no longer actively involved, could you do something for sitting volleyball?

An open door that I would like to keep open together with the National Volleyball Association as long as I can !!

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