Sports stars and directors throw themselves in the sand at beach volley: - It keeps you energized throughout the day

Olympic gold winner, bank director, and business owner. These are some of the titles of the members of a networking group that meets early in the morning to play beach volley. Behind the group is one of Denmark’s biggest names in volley, Peter Lyø.

By Mathias Sandal Banke, Fyens Stiftstidende., 5. October 2020

ODENSE: All companies have to make up their minds about sustainability regardless of size or industry. Otherwise, suppliers, customers and consumers will choose to do without them.

This is the opinion of strategic advisor Martin Brems, who works with sustainable branding in his company Brems & Co.

– It is no longer enough to have a product. Companies and users expect attitudes. What do you stand for and what do you want? You have to commit yourself, says Martin Brems.

– It must be authentic and you have to show who you are. Tell me what you want and where you are going, because then I would want to join that journey as a customer. That’s what you need to become good at, and that’s what I help my clients focus attention on.

– If you only have the product and you don’t show who you are and what you stand for, you won’t be able to differentiate yourself well enough, and then customers or consumers can easily go elsewhere. Bring them on your journey, because they want to make a difference.

A cool network

Some of those who faithfully show up every Wednesday morning are the owner and director of communications agency Brems & Co. Martin Brems, private director of Sydbank, Jacob Monin Rasmussen, and double Olympic gold medalist in handball and assistant coach for Odense Handball, Karen Brødsgaard.

– I don’t feel like I have to generate business here, Martin Brems says and continues:

– I just feel like I need to have fun with some people, and if you create some relationships, you take it from there. Something happens when you start trusting each other and get to know each other.

After an hour of beach volley, the players settle down on a sofa group where they can let their heart rate drop with a cup of coffee in hand and friendly banter.

– You play sports, talk to each other and pat each other on the shoulder. I actually think there are a lot of elements that make beach volley a great team sport, where you can talk to a lot of different people while you are here. It is a great network, says Jacob Monin Rasmussen.

– It is just such a special atmosphere and mood, and that is why we get up at 6 in the morning to join. It is a really good setup that Peter Lyø and Odense Beach Volleyball Club have made, praises Karen Brødsgaard.

“Competition is an important part of my everyday life, but here it’s competition in a fun way.”

"Competition is an important part of my everyday life, but here it's competition in a fun way."

The participants rarely talk shop at beach volley. But the community creates opportunities where you, for example, meet for a cup of coffee off field and learn about each others’ work. It is at these spontaneous informal meetings that collaborations can arise, explains Jacob Monin Rasmussen. But it all starts in the sand.

– It provides an opportunity for us to meet in a more active and loose way, Jacob Monin Rasmussen points out.


The network group consists of around 30 people in the 25 to 61 age range. In principle, the group is open to everyone, but to participate you must have some kind of qualification. There is a certain bottom level, as Jacob Monin Rasmussen says.

Since players are guided by an experienced volley player, it would be hard to imagine it any other way.

– We must praise Peter Lyø. We have a professional coach for casual volley, and he always puts in some coaching to make you better. From the time we started until now, I have improved significantly as a volley player, says Jacob Monin Rasmussen.

On a daily basis, Karen Brødsgaard works with elite athletes at Odense Handball, so for her this is also an opportunity to play sports in a more relaxed way. She, and about seven others from the network group, also meet for beach volley on Fridays, where it is even more about matches and sporting performance.

– Competition is an important part of my everyday life, but here it is competition in a fun way. When I’m with these boys, I still do my best to get the ball over the net, but here I can also focus on developing myself as a beach volley player. I leave most of my competitive gene at Odense Handball, and then I use this as relaxation, Karen Brødsgaard explains.

For the business people in the network group, morning volleyball also provides a counterpoint to everyday life.

– I sit in many customer meetings and workshops, and getting out here provides a break and a free space. It keeps me energized throughout the week, says Martin Brems.