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2017-08-04 12:41:00 CET

Humans of Beach Volleyball

Ala Łokuciejewska’s #WorldChampsVienna story

“I finally met him.
I met a fan.
I hugged him.
I hugged her.
I kissed him.
I kissed her.
I told him he is my everything.
She told me I am her everything.
I told him I love him.
She told me she loves me.
I told him my name.
I can’t remember her name.
He is my sunshine.
She is my fan.”

                - Author unknown

The biggest fans by far are sports fans. Fans are those who will support their teams when they are at their greatest, fans will support their teams when they are at their weakest. Fans are there from the beginning, fans are there every step of the way. Fans are there when the stands are at their fullest and when the stands are at their emptiest.  For a true fan, it’s not about the glitz and glam of big sporting events, it’s about being behind their teams no matter what. Super fans will do whatever it takes. Ala Łokuciejewska is a super fan. This is Ala’s #WorldChampsVienna story…

Ala (left) and Karolina at the Swatch Beach Village. Photocredit: Beach MajorsAla (left) and Karolina at the Swatch Beach Village. Photocredit: Beach Majors

Ala is a 22-year-old Polish student, who works at a recruitment company in Gdansk Poland. But that is just her day job. It all started at the Stare Jablonki Grand Slam in 2007, where then 12-year-old Ala attended her first beach volleyball tournament. She fell in love with the sport. She fell in love with the athletes, “they were always so nice, so humble, so friendly and so down-to-earth,” she tell us.

Wherever possible, and feasible, Ala travels to see her favorite teams live and up close. You will find her in the stands, screaming for her teams, wearing their national flags.  She has two accomplices, who are also beach volleyball crazy – polish twins Kasia and Karolina Grzegorzewska. The three of them try to travel together as much as possible to watch beach volleyball.

From left: Ala, Karolina, Kasia are the super fan three musketeers. Photocredit: Ala ŁokuciejewskaFrom left: Ala, Karolina, Kasia are the super fan three musketeers. Photocredit: Ala Łokuciejewska

Ala took a 17-hour train ride from her town in Poland just to attend the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships presented by A1 for two days. That isn’t even the half of it. Ala laughed as she told us that she didn’t have any vacation days for the Poreč Major last year and her old company wouldn’t give her time off so she quit her job just to be able to go to the event to see ‘her’ guys.

Ala with Alison Cerutti, one of ‘her guys’. Photocredit: Ala ŁokuciejewskaAla with Alison Cerutti, one of ‘her guys’. Photocredit: Ala Łokuciejewska

‘My guys’ is the term she affectionately uses to describe her teams. Her teams are all playing at the world championships this year namely: Alison/Bruno, Gibb/Crabb Taylor, Brunner/Patterson and Agatha/Duda.

The girls come prepared to every event to support their teams. Photocredit: Beach MajorsThe girls come prepared to every event to support their teams. Photocredit: Beach Majors

Travelling from beach volleyball event to beach volleyball event is no small feat. Ala had been saving for almost a year to be able to attend the world championships this year. She doesn’t think it’s a big deal – it’s all about priorities. Where other students her age are backpacking through Europe or travelling to parties, she takes no summer vacations because beach volleyball events are her holidays.

Like Hernan Humana, Alex Prietzel, Lynn Simmons, Suzanne Lowry and Giulia Sui, Ala Łokuciejewska is one of the Humans of Beach Volleyball. If you see her, be sure to ask her to tell you about the time she purposely failed her exam and made a 400km roundtrip just to see her guys.

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