Volley Saturnus Michelbeke

Honorary President of topteam Volley Saturnus Michelbeke

Michelbeke, part of Brakel with about 1000 inhabitants, has had good volleyball teams for several decades, with esspecially  of a women’s team that plays in the highest league.  How can this be explained?

Let’s go back in time:  It is 1966, a group of students plays recreational volleyball in Michelbeke.  This was possible because as a young mayor, I had provided a net and a few balls. I became the first chairman of the sports club right away. They were playing on the cobblestones of the village square , and the old boarding house was the dressing room.  There was no canteen, but the playground was surrounded by four cafes, so no problem. The only obstacle was that if the farmer who lived at the end of the village square had to pass by tractor, then the volleyball net had to go down for a few minutes!

Later on, the games were played for a while on an asphalt terrain  on the residential area of Hovendaal.  The teams got more successful, and so we had to look for a suitable accomodation. The sports hall promised by the municipality of Brakel never came, and we were unable to find shelter in the surrounding municipalities. 

Therefore it was decided to build a sports hall ourselves:  In 1979, Michelbeke built one with its own resources and with many volunteers next to the garden center Mavando. Later there was an extension, but when the women’s team promoted to the honorary league in 2003, it was necessary to build a larger hall that met the requirements of the national volleyball association. .

In 2005, a beautiful new gym arose in the “small” Michelbeke.  Saturnus Michelbeke’s volleyball teams had a new home base.

Meanwhile, the women’s volleyball team of Michelbeke continues to turn heads with a cup final against top club Asterix Kieldrecht in 2014 as the absolute highlight. More than 650        supporters from Michelbeke came to the Lotto Arena in Antwerp. After a particularly exciting match, Saturnus Michelbeke lost 3-1.

My relationship with our volleyball team Saturnus Michelbeke, remains very intense.  As honorary chairman, I have seen my son Alexander, now vice-chairman, playing the youth teams for a while.  How a small village can be big…

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