On Tuesday, April 2nd, 2019 Anniek Bruins, Dutch volleyball player celebrated her 15th birthday. Early in the morning her teammates prepared a small surprise celebration of this small, but important number. When we are young we wait for that day impatiently and when the day comes, our loved ones make us feel special. We also know it is hard to be away from your family on your birthday.


            ‘I woke up early in the morning and realised that I was alone in the room. Honestly, I forgot it was my birthday. Once I got dressed I got out of my room and found my teammates holding balloons, smiling and singing. At first, I didn’t realise what was going on, I was confused, and then it dawned on me – it’s my birthday! But the surprises didn’t stop there. We were walking towards the restaurant for breakfast and they told me to close my eyes. The rest of my friends were at the restaurant waiting for me with a present. I wasn’t expecting it at all, I don’t know what to say, I am still shocked. Even though we lost today, it did not ruin my day. The girls really gave it their best to make this day special for me. Even though I am not at home with my family, these girls are my friends and they are like a second family to me.’

            Today’s event is one more proof that sport is more than a ball, court and result. We are certain that Anniek will remember this event for the rest of her life. One day, she will look back on this Championship with joy and she will only remember this wonderful surprise, not that they lost.

            Small things really can make us happy, right?


IPL Journalist: Marita Čatić 

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