Anouk Verge-Depre: Commitment and willpower lead to success

Presenting the member of the FIVB Athletes’ Commission and Olympic medallist

It takes a lot of hard work, commitment and willpower to be where Anouk Verge-Depre is today – one of the world’s best beach volleyball players and a medallist of the last Olympic Games earlier this year. The 29-year-old Swiss player, who has been on top of the podium at FIVB World Tour events, the CEV European Championship, the FIVB U21 World Championship, the CEV U22 European Championship and numerous other beach volleyball competitions, is currently serving as a member of the FIVB Athletes’ Commission.

Anouk was born in Bern on February 11, 1992 into a Swiss-French volleyball family and started playing volleyball herself when she was 10 years old. Although she had some early success in the indoor national league and even made it to the junior national team, Anouk gradually switched to beach volleyball while winning several youth national titles on the sand.

Verge-Depre made her international debut when she was 17 years old. She and Joana Winter reached the quarter-finals of the 2009 U19 World Championship in Alanya. However, it was only a couple of years later that she came back to the international beach volleyball courts after forming a pair with the well-seasoned Isabelle Forrer to play more regularly at FIVB and CEV tournaments. Soon they celebrated with their first international medal, a bronze at the 2011 FIVB Challenger in Seoul. Their first gold came at the CEV Masters in Baden a year later.

Also in 2012, in Halifax, Verge-Depre became a U21 world champion in a pair with Nina Betschart to claim her first FIVB gold. The same Swiss duo celebrated as U22 European champions the following year in Varna.

Verge-Depre and Forrer continued playing as regular partners through the end of the 2016 season. In addition to qualifiing for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, where they reached the last 16 before losing to champions-to-be Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst, their team picked up four World Tour medals, including a gold at the 2016 Xiamen Open and a bronze at the 2016 World Tour Finals in Toronto.

After Forrer’s retirement, the 1.85m-tall Verge-Depre teamed up with Joana Heidrich. Since 2017 they have been playing together and have collected a 2019 Moscow 4-star gold as well as four silvers on the World Tour as a pair. In 2020, they triumphed as continental champions at EuroBeachVolley in Jurmala, and, in 2021, they became the second European duo in history to reach the Olympic podium in women’s beach volleyball by snatching the bronze at the Games in Tokyo. They were awarded Europe’s Queens of the Beach 2021 title by the CEV, while Anouk was honoured with the annual MVP Beach Award by Swiss Volley.

Currently, Verge-Depre and Heidrich are the number nine team in the FIVB World Ranking.

Shortly after the Olympic Games, Anouk Verge-Depre, in an international tandem with Germany’s Laura Ludwig, won the King of the Court tournament in Hamburg.

The Swiss athlete maintains her commitment to the sport outside the sand court as well. Since 2017, she has been involved in establishing and running the International Beach Volleyball Players’ Association.

Verge-Depre actively participated in the promotion of the new Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour, officially announced in October of this year.

The beach star ran in the first-ever FIVB Athletes’ Commission elections in early 2021 and received the highest number of votes in the Open Choice category to start her term as a Commission member.