Two beaches open in central Brussels this week

Anyone passing by Bourse and Place de la Monnaie couldn't have missed the 780 tonnes of sand, which now have been made into beaches.

Two beaches open in central Brussels this week
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Anyone passing through central Brussels couldn't fail to notice the huge piles of sand deposited in front of the Bourse building and on Place de la Monnaie.

Weighing a total of 780 tonnes, the sand will create two beaches for the Belgian beach volleyball championship.

One beach has now been made on the esplanade in front of the Bourse building in the city centre, right in the heart of the capital. A few minutes walk away, the same is the case on Place de la Monnaie.

With spectators guaranteed, these two sites will host the Belgian volleyball championship – called the Geberit Beach Tour – from Friday 4 to Sunday 6 August.

"Last year, we were already at Place de la Monnaie. This year, we are also spreading out in front of the Bourse," Jesse De Dobbeleer, one of the organisers, told La Dernière Heure.

After the event, all the sand will be recovered and can be reused for around three years of volleyball competitions. "After that, it can be used for building work. Nothing is lost."

On Thursday the area will be open to young people to play recreational tournaments; the official competition kicks off on Friday. The finals will take place on Sunday: 16:00 for the women's teams, 18:00 for the men. All are free to watch the show.

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Despite the lack of a beach in the capital, the organisers hope to put Brussels on the beach volleyball map. The sport is already rising in popularity in the country.

"In Belgium, more and more people are playing beach volleyball. After all, it's an Olympic discipline," said De Dobbeleer. Some 70,000 people are affiliated with a volley or beach volleyball club throughout Belgium.

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