In January in a crowded theater of the Kulturhus the annual sports awards were presented to the sportswoman and sportsman of the year 2023.
The evening was presented by the television weatherman Dennis Wilt, after the anniversary evening in November on the occasion of the 40-year twinning also a well-known person in Rheine.
With the ladies, this honor fell to Florien Reesink volleyball player from Borne, playing in the national volleyball team. In the case of the men, Ralph Esser was the lucky one, Ralph is also an international, regular in the national G-hockey team.
We asked both for a short interview for the website www.friendsineurope.com at restaurant De Ster in Borne.
During the presentation of the sports awards, Florien was unable to be physically present due to competition commitments abroad. Now she is back in Borne for a couple of days and made time for this interview.
Florien is 25 years old and born and raised in Borne. Since the age of 16 she has been playing volleyball for Apollo 8 in Borne. Apollo’s women’s team has been playing at the highest level in the Netherlands for quite some time. Because of this, talented volleyball players come from far and wide to Borne to play for Apollo.
Because of her talent, Florien is an exception at Apollo. Not only was she one of the few players on that team actually from Borne, she is also the only international and has been playing on an even higher level for a foreign team for quite some time. After playing 1 year for Potsdam in Germany she now plays for a volleyball club in Geneva Switzerland. There she has an apartment and is only sporadically back in the Netherlands.
Her strength is her reaction speed, game insight and reliability. The libero position on the team is tailor-made for her because of this and her relatively shorter height.
The libero in a volleyball team can be recognized by the different shirt.
From May on she plays and trains for the Dutch national team and in the fall the club season starts again.
She hopes that the Dutch women’s volleyball team will qualify for the Olympic Games this summer in Paris. The decision will be made in May during the Nations league tournament. If the Netherlands then manages to hold its current position they will go to Paris. The main competitor is Canada.
Despite her success, Florien remains fairly level-headed about her breakthrough in recent years. No doubt her Twente roots are partly to blame.
Ralph, is 26 also living in Borne and born in Hengelo, has a form of autism which makes him play at a G-sport.
As a child, he was raised on the sport of field hockey by his parents and his brother.
Ralph is so talented that he is a regular on the national G field hockey team. His strength is finishing in front of the goal, especially the shoot-out is a strong part. In his own club (HC Twente) he is top scorer, also with the national team he plays, as the only selected player from the wide area, in the forefront. Playing for the national team does make high demands. Not only does he spend many hours training, he must also regularly go on training camp somewhere central in the country. In addition, there are the many international tournaments and European championships (already selected 4 times) at home and abroad. In Spain, Belgium, Germany and soon even Portugal he has already been able to show his talents.
According to Ralph, the players in the teams he plays for are actually all friends.
Unfortunately, the national team Ralph plays for cannot participate in the Paralympic Games this summer.
His election in Borne as Sportsman of the Year was a real surprise for him. A few weeks before the election he heard that he was nominated, on the night itself he was totally surprised with his election. In his own words, “I still think, is this real?”. Here, too, Twente sobriety plays the overtone.
The Kulturhus was largely filled with his fans and trainers who made themselves heard.
Ralph in action with his strong weapon the Shoot-out