2016-04-05 14:00:00 CET
Beach baby on board – a toddler and his daddy at the FIVB World Tour
Noah Huber is peacefully sleeping on the Dubai Beach. While his father, Xandi, practices with partner Robin Seidl (AUT) against Chris Gregory/Jake Sheaf from Great Britain. Proud and surprised Xandi says: „He never slept that much before.“
Noah isn´t even a year old and already a globetrotter. First, he flew with mommy Barbi Schmerlaib and Xandi from Austria to the training camp in Dubai, on Saturday the journey continued to Doha where Huber/Seidl will start in the main draw of the Qatar Open. Noah shows no excitement nor unease, although he is about to compete in his first FIVB World Tour competition.
„Maybe, he´ll be the first Tour-Kid“, said Xandi hopefully. He is not the first one trying: Kerri Walsh Jennings (USA) is a perfect example. The three times Olympic Champion has her children Scott Margery, Joey, Sundance and husband Casey around her as often as possible. „For me, this woman is a miracle“, says European Champion Laura Ludwig (GER), knowing that there is a lot of support behind. „But it makes me sad, if they are not with me“, Kerri said, when she had to go without her boys to the FIVB World Championships in the Netherlands.“
Phil Dalhausser (USA) knows this feeling too well. Shortly before the start of the 2013 World Championships in Stare Jablonki, his son Sebastian was born. „The first eight weeks of his life, I saw him only ten days“, said the American. It wasn´t planned, but integrating a delivery into the FIVB World Tour calendar is simply impossible.
In 2014 Phils daughter, Sophia was born but like John Hyde (USA), Jake Gibb (USA), Casey Patterson (USA) and Armin Dollinger (GER), he is mostly on the road without his children. „I would hope it would be different“, says the 25 years old Armin. The German athlete traveled to Doha without his daughter Mia, who is two years old. He has never took her to an international competition before. There are so many things to organize, starting with the flights, which have to be paid when the kids are older than two, different basic conditions in the diverging countries, and don’t forget that someone needs to look after the kids. Even for the parents it is not always easy, as Xandi knows: „We are living here in Doha on the 20th floor, the baby phone is not working in the lobby or in the restaurant – too far away“, he reports.
Most of the players watch Whatsapp-Videos to be somewhat present in their child’s life. Xandi knows, that this will be his reality soon. Meanwhile, his girlfriend, Barbi, is on parental leave, but, when she starts working again, it won´t be possible for her to travel around the world ten months a year.
For now, Xandi is enjoying the company of Noah and Barbi as long as it will last. In Dubai, they experienced together Noahs first time at the beach: „He is already speedy like a young Emanuel in the sand, I am so happy that the two are here with me“, says Xandi. „It is like everyday life, just without being at home.“