I first met Gerard Brouwers from the Netherlands in the year 2000 at the Sydney Paralympic Games. From the beginning, he was a great personal and professional help to me in the technical field of World ParaVolley.
Born in 1948, Gerard was best known for his technical expertise and leadership, but he was a very competent volleyball player as a Dutch national team representative and a qualified and highly experienced national and international volleyball and paravolley referee.
After undertaking the role as Assistant Technical Delegate in the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games, Gerard became the Sport Director of World ParaVolley for the next decade as a World ParaVolley Board Member. He provided the leadership for event management at many major events, including a series of Sitting Volleyball World Championships, European Championships and the 2004 Athens and the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games.
I am but one beneficiary of Gerard’s kindness, knowledge and experience – he was the one who asked me to contribute as a volunteer to World ParaVolley after Sydney 2000 and he supported me for the next 10 years in the technical field. Gerard was committed to educating and inspiring others and he travelled widely to places such as Libya, Egypt, Kuwait, Malaysia, Tunisia and Germany in order to provide instruction to up and coming International Technical Officials. The benefits are still being felt today by many players and officials.
I am sure the World ParaVolley family would join with me in saluting Gerard Brouwers for his long and dedicated contribution to the technical development of World ParaVolley and I am very pleased to advise that on 24 April 2020, International World ParaVolley day, he received a Recognition Award for his services.
Barry Couzner OAM
President, World ParaVolley