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Annette Huygens-Tholen


 

Annette Huygens-Tholen is one of the pioneers of Beach Volleyball in Australia, taking to the sand back in 1987 in one of the first state professional competitions in Western Australia. As one of the shorter players (170cm) on the world stage, Annette has become a role-model for her athletic ability, determination and dedication to the sport of beach volleyball.

Annette represented Australia for 15 years, making her first national Indoor Volleyball team in 1987. By ’89 she was a regular in the senior team and was included in the first full-time national indoor program that commenced in 1992. In 1993, Annette was given the captaincy but by the end of the year, Annette quit the Indoor team to commit to the Beach game, better suited to her height and abilities. Her first year on the World Tour in 1994 culminated in a career high ranking of 8. In 1995 she was Asian Champion.

 

 


Annette featured in the Top 4 on the Australian Beach Volleyball Tour from 1992 – 2003 and has 5 title wins to her credit. She has also won the NZ Champion title 3 times and the Auckland Open a further 2 times.

In the year 2000, Annette realized her dream and competed at the Sydney Olympics, finishing 19th with partner Sarah Straton. During the competition, Annette recorded the fastest serve at an Olympic Games (82kph) and this was beaten by only one person a few days later - Gold Medallist Kerri Pottharst. Annette returned to the World Tour in 2002 with Nicole Sanderson and had a career-best year with a 5th in Montreal and two 9th finishes. They also won the Tahiti Open that year.

Now retired from the sport Annette is focused on promoting Beach Volleyball in Queensland with Sandstorm . She also commentates on the sport and does public speaking in her endeavour to inspire others. In 2003 Annette worked for the Get Active Queensland Schools Program speaking to students on active and healthy lifestyles.

Annette has a degree in Physiotherapy and worked full and part-time in the industry for 15 years. Her knowledge and commitment to fitness provides the expert advice in the stretching segment of DigiBeach.

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