2016-06-07 09:37:00 CEST
For the first time ever the World Tour is coming to Hamburg. Organizer Frank Mackerodt is living his dream.
When 64 of the world’s best beach volleyball teams will go head-to-head, aiming for a spot on the podium, while scrapping to gain all-important Olympic ranking points for the last time before Rio at the Tennis Stadium Rothenbaum in Hamburg, you have to watch out for one man: Frank Mackerodt, organizer of the smart Major Hamburg 2016.
The 1.91-meter-tall guy with the big smile and lots of laugh lines around his blue eyes cannot be overlooked anyway. Frank is always surrounded by a special aura, an invisible field of positive energy.
Initiator of Europe’s biggest tournament series
In his whole life, Frank has put a lot of this vital energy into the sport he loves: During his volleyball career he won the German Championships four times, the German Cup, the Supercup and the European Cup. He also played 111 times for the national team. At the very beginning of the beach volleyball scene in Germany 1993, he became Vice-Champion with his partner Hauke Braack.
After that, Frank characterized beach volleyball in Germany like no other, when he initiated 1993 the Master Series, which became the biggest tournament series in Europe and the third biggest in the world – after the AVP Tour and the FIVB World Tour.
With a fighter’s heart
But seven years ago it looked as if the live energy of Frank would come to an early end. A thrombosis made his bowel burst – and it was what caused an inner poisoning. His chances of survival were just five percent. “I was as good as dead," he says. But Frank always had a fighter’s heart, and that was something that marked him up as a player and that was also, what brought him back to life after 42 days in an artificial coma. Since 2013 he has been the organizer of the smart beach tour in Germany.
But that wasn’t enough for the now 53-year-old. Frank wanted international beach volleyball in his hometown. And he did what he has always been doing: he made it happen. For the first time ever, the World Tour is taking place in Hamburg now. “I have always been dreaming of this moment,” Frank says.
As cool as a cucumber
Last week, the rehearsals worked great with more than 20,000 visitors in the Tennis Stadium Rothenbaum during the smart beach tour. “If I had been thinking of doing a beach volleyball event here 20 years ago, everyone would have laughed at me,” Frank says. Now he knows: “It was a great preparation for what is happening next.”
All athletes, supporters and visitors can look forward to an high class event, due to the cooperation between Frank Mackerodt and the Swatch Major Series. As always, the event-boss is as cool as a cucumber and as happy as a clam. He explains why: “I am living my dream here.”