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Sportsmanship? Or good at sports?

Huh, what do you mean? Pretty confusing, trust me in Dutch it's even worse. As in Dutch sporty and sportsmanship are written the same. I just found out that they are called 'homonyms'. Another lesson learned.
Anyway, I don't do it that much. (Actually, I haven't done so for 'a little' too long, if I look at my belly). On the other hand, the ARC people in the video below do it a lot and they show it. It would make you hot. 
'Sportsmanship' as part of our ARC Club Values is something I'm more comfortable with. At least, I try to be as honest and sincere as possible in games and in business (and when I was on the pitch). Because then I think: 'aren't you a terribly arrogant, blunt bastard if you only have an eye for my own game pleasure and put winning above fairness and sportsmanship? After all, we are playing a sport for hooligans as Gentlemen.
And before you think: 'Oh peleaaaase Robert, we have to win', I can assure you that few are as fanatical as I am in that department. I mean, how quickly did the answer to the decisive question for 2nd place in last weekend's Wiebkes Pub Quiz "Who is the best-selling Dutch artist abroad" come out? Usaine Bolt had not even gotten out of bed, and I was already pressing the point for my teammates Sylvia, Ziggy and Pablo from the Donatella's United. (we'll get to that story some day)

Also in work, whether it is for a boss, or for myself and my clients or partners, I try to be a good sport. A deal has to be a win for both of us. If it was your idea and hard work that helped me win over my boss, then I'll make sure she knows. That's not only fair, it's also the only way we can really trust each other. 'Seeing each other. And being there for each other'. Not only does this improve the atmosphere on the work floor, our brain is also biologically hardwired to trust. Trust grows when we are surrounded by people who believe what we believe. We dare to take more risks and experiment, to raise the bar. Trust does not work if it only comes from one side, we have to have skin in the game ourselves. Dare to fall flat on our face. And if we then find ourselves with our snouts in the mud and we can't see the stars for a while, it's nice that there's a random player on that pitch who grabs you by the scruff of the neck and helps you back on your feet. After all, aren't we all Gentlemen? 

(okay, okay, small confession: Wiebke, I Googled 1 answer during last week's Pub Quiz) And for all those of you who had a brain melt and thought, "Rob you're not going to leave us hanging from that cliff, are you?" rest assured: André-you-didn't-see-that-one-coming-Rieu.



Rugby heavyweight Michael Assman spearheads new setup

We are moving forward in order to accompany the end of this season and to prepare for the season 2021/2022 the board of ARC has decided to appoint an ad interim TC with immediate effect until September 2021. A representative of each team was represented in the Kick Off Meeting to establish goals, address urgent issues and define roles and responsibilities. Members of the TC (exact names will be confirmed shortly) will be reaching out to coaches shortly to define wishes and needs for next season and to align on current activities. In the meantime if you want to be accountable for something please don’t hesitate to reach out to the TC. 


Covid restrictions or not, ARC stays in shape! Can you spot your buddy? central to the fabric of the game and is generated through honesty and fair play (rugby law)

Each month we take one of our ARC Rugby Values and ask folks in the club how they identify with them. This month: sportsmanship. Is it 'just being nice' or does it take us further? Read along to find out. 

Brent Veltman: 27 -  player Performance Squad - member since 2005:  "No matter how bad the game was or how upset we were after, coaches have been  pressing us to think about the bigger picture and that there are always going to be upsetting moments in life. How you dealt with it together, and as an individual was representative not only of you as an individual but also what made rugby, rugby. To try to enjoy even the worst results cause, “you’re playing rugby with your mates, how bad can it really be?”

Paul Hengeveld: 58 years - Former president and record international ARC - member since 1973 "When a roaring rugby stadium falls silent during a penalty kick, I still get goose bumps. The very first time I walked through a post match tunnel as an NFC mini was wonderful, the very last time after the Gerrit Dekker cup still is. In Amstelveen's youth, there was always a lot of emphasis on sportsmanship, almost like an education. Unsportsmanlike conduct on a sports field still surprises and shocks me. I think it runs deep.

Biagio Lorenzi Stad: 22 years - player Performance Squad - member since 2017 "sportsmanship shows when people go and check if an opposing player is okay when he is lying on the ground"

Are you showing off what you're made of? Then order your ARC Club Values shirt below

Jacques van der Meer: 58 years - Member of the Cup (aka merit) - former Board Member - member since 1974 

"Started playing rugby at a very young age, the boys I once started with are still my best friends, and we still see each other very regularly, nowadays with more wine than the old familiar beer, friends for life!" 

Sportsmanship means to Cónán Doyle, 21 years and also from the Performance Squad - member in 2003-2004 and since 2017 that one puts the "maximum intensity and effort when playing with the rugby brothers. Running with them supporting lines on the field, and being there also to support them off of it” 

Nico de Vries: 60 years Former ARC 1 player and serial Sponsor - member since 1983

"Well, sportsmanship? Once I played a cup match, led by the Maestro. He changed me at half-time because I stank of alcohol. It was carnival time. I was dressed up as if I was at the NFC party. The jester was allowed "everything" I said to the Maestro during the match and was promptly substituted, hahaha. The match was won easily and I won the third half again. And off to the club in the bus. A great time.

Speaking of sportsmanship, I have to get something off my chest. 

Even after huge effort by Wiebke and Floris, there are still 23 people who don't feel the need to pay their membership fee (without giving a reason, without requesting support). That is about €7,500.- that others have to cough up for you.






High tackles can compromise the welfare of players being tackled. But its reach also impacts match resultsif players performing an illegal tackle are being sent off. In the 6 nations games referees awarded at least three red cards, resulting in controversy around the competition. Therefore, in the month of the rugby value Sportsmanship we asked ourselves: what can we do to mitigate injuries due to high tackle as well as how can we reduce the number of players being sent off.

In March 2021 the World Rugby updated of their guidelines for Head Contact law application The World Rugby’s decisions of updating the Head Contact in the law were to maintain player welfare, driving decision making for zero tolerance of foul play, especially where head contact occurs. This law change was requested by players and coaches.

Are there other steps to prevent head injuries, besides relying on the referee enforcing the rules of the game? 

Many people are opting for head gear as an extra layer of protection, however this one was only proven to protects from superficial lacerations. On the other hand, if all players would wear head protective gear players would not be except from other impact injuries.  Maybe the solution should be not only left to the referees. Coach staff as well as players need to contribute to the discussion. Having a better technique and higher fitness levels can reduce the risk of injury. The program from World Rugby has shown to reduce concussion by 60 percent. If we are serious about reducing head injuries, we need all clubs in the Netherlands participating in the rugby competition to roll out the program. And,... that doesn't need a red card to start. 


Support academic research into light concussions (also for non head bangers) 

Dieuwke Hettinga, a sports physical therapy student currently writing her thesis, translated an international score list to measure light head injuries and needs participants to validate her work so it can be used in Dutch. She is looking for both men and woman that have had  a concussion AND also  those who never had a light head injury. Is that you? Then please consider taking part. Participation is voluntary and takes about 10-15 minutes. 

We will invite Dieuwke for an interview in a future STUDS when her research is completed. 

ARC has no affiliation with the research, researcher and no access into the answers given.


Easter Highland Games up this weekend

Rudy Hengeveld and Nadine Klokkers will make sure that the Easter weekend will start off very well for the TBM's. This Saturday, 3 April, the TBM's will have their Easter Highland Games, a fantastic tournament full of different challenges. 8 Teams consisting of Mini's, Benjamin's and Turfs will compete for the Highland Trophy. The team that wants to win this prize will have to complete all the challenges to the best of its ability. Fortunately, they are not alone, because on Wednesday 31 March each team will make their own 'battle crest' with their logo and name on it. They will also practice their battle cry/yell. It certainly promises to be a Titanic battle and we wish all the TBM's lots of fun. Event start is at 09:45 and ends no later than 12:00 noon. Because of the current Corona restrictions, an audience is not allowed, but don't worry, pictures will be made which will be shared with the parents. (And some, after permission on the website/social media) -Nadine

ARC Easter Packages 2021

WHAT A SUCCESS! The ARC Wine and Beer campaign has come to an end. Final result: an astonishing 84 boxes! We are very happy that you have responded with so much enthusiasm and it shows once again how we want to support our club. In addition, we will soon be enjoying the contents of the boxes, including the Tempranillo, cheese and pate, or the special beers and the sausages. Home deliveries this Saturday, April 3rd

The sponsor committee thanks everyone for their enthusiasm and support. We also want to thank Lindenhoff for making this campaign possible. We already have our sights on the next initiative, so keep your eyes peeled! -Melvin


Special Rugby Clinic of the Rugby Academy North-West

It's 9.45am and to my surprise everyone is already there. The call in the What'sApp group has worked after all. Normally, meeting up at 9.15 and kicking off at 9.30 means that half of the players quietly trickle in around 9.30, so that we can do justice to the "keep it messy, we can do it" attitude. Now our 'little blue men' are standing in full armour and somewhat nervously waiting for what is to come. Everyone grabs a ball and starts warming up. In front of the Benji Bunch there are two new trainers, one of which is very special to me... Mats Marcker, from Castricum and the Academy NW, former NL player (15s and 7s) and since 1974 my esteemed rugby mate and opponent on the field and friend off it. I realise that we first played against each other when we were 9 years old and thus the same age as our 2nd year Benji Bunch. The little blue men get wise lessons from one of Holland's most experienced rugby players from a big rugby family. Ball in two hands (we know, it's not a coconut), searching for space (we already do that, ok sometimes), passing in time (why?, I finally have that ball), listening when the trainer talks (sure, but first a minute...). It is good to see that Mats and his young companion use the same combination of humour and seriousness and it works. The Benji Bunch makes another important step forward and especially the game with the two balls is catching on and we will use it more often. Time flies and before we know it, the clinic is over and the parents are back at the gate. 

Judging by the happy faces everyone enjoyed the clinic and we can write another successful morning to our account. Thanks Mats and assistants, I'd be happy if we could go back to Cas and eat the meatballs your dad always had ready. Until then, we'll quietly build on the blue wave in Amstelveen. 

- Rudy Hengeveld 


Although we had to miss last years edition and probably this year's as well,  Cris will tell us all about it. But.. stop the press...  did you know that our own Cris is the only rugby player in the world who played 25 consecutive Amsterdam 7's? A real ARC lion! 

Your content goes here...

Amsterdam 7's in the 80's

For the actual facts and exact dates, I would like to refer to the 2 fantastic anniversary books of our club, "NFC 1963-1988" (At the Rijksmuseum, available for inspection😉 ) and "Amstelveen Rugby Club 50 years 1963-2013", which must still be available at the club)

"Who do you think is going to win, Steepholme or Amstelveen?", I heard one morning in May in the mid-80s, already in gear, waiting in line for a well-deserved cup of coffee on the second (and final) day of the prestigious Amsterdam Heineken 7's tournament. Steepholme, for example, was more or less the Wales' national team in 7's format, with many big names from the '5 Nations' in its ranks. The Amsterdam Heineken 7's was one of the top 7's tournaments in Europe and perhaps the world, and in any case the biggest sports tournament in terms of participating teams (100+) of any sport in the Netherlands. In those days, there were no separate rugby 7's selections for national teams, and when a tournament was important enough, national unions would send their strongest and best 15-a-side players who obviously had to be suitable for this kind of 7’s fun after a long rugby season. (So mainly fast threequarters and occasionally a stray flanker, and with the biggest players playing at prop). This led to the creation of supra-national teams at this tournament, with internationals from various countries placed into one team, who were invited by a rich sponsor to enjoy a nice weekend in Amsterdam at the end of a long season for some pocket money and basically pro bono. It was back in the days when you were lucky enough to read about these heroes in the papers or to see TV footage of them on occasion, when everyone was an 'amateur', when like footballers one didn't cheer after scoring and when even the superstars would quietly enjoy a beer afterwards, knowing that they had to go back to work on Monday. So, basically, players who were less physical and top fit, but in my humble opinion, more technically gifted than they are now. You may understand, exactly how I compare today's rugby with the well-known 'good old days'. I looked at the gentlemen in the queue at the coffee point, who gave me a friendly nod, and realised that they in turn probably did not realise that I was also a member of the team they had predicted could win the tournament. I felt a shiver down my spine, and enormous pressure. There was a major Amstelveen presence and activity in those years at this tournament, 1 team (not 5 fun teams like now) with a chance and a huge, loyal group of supporters, who were busy setting up tents, BBQ's and beer pumps under the inspiring leadership of for example our late ex-chairman Tom Cornwall. You also saw many picnicking Amstelveen beauties with a glass of wine, getting a tan on spreads they brought along, who always blocked these 2 days in their agenda so as not to miss a thing. As a player, you could do nothing but feel proud, it was truly one big Amstelveen family, that everyone wanted to belong to, especially on these 2 special days in the season. 

A few fun facts

- Amstelveen has become the 7's national champion of the Netherlands 8 times, after the first time in 1969, this happened 7 times in the successful 80's.

- Because of its successful 7's history, Amstelveen RC is still nationally known as a three-quarter club.

- After playing a narrowly lost semi-final of the Silver Pier, the entire Amstelveen 1 team jumped into a very dirty ditch out of pure joy.

- The next time, after a semi-final, we at least kept our feet dry …

- As a fully home-grown and Dutch club team (without any mercenaries) no other Dutch club has ever reached 2 semi finals, although the usually strong 7s clubs such as Castricum and Hilversum came close once or twice.

- Paul Hengeveld was once named Best Player of the Tournament and Nick Gale, as we know, later on chairman of this tournament, as Most Promising Player a few years earlier.

- NFC/Amstelveen did win the lower ranked Heineken Boot twice. Once with David Brocklehurst as captain (1980) and yours truly fresh out of the youth, and again in this century with Gijs van der Pol as proud Captain Whenever I hear in recent years that Amstelveen may not have a first team in the 7s, or that the players don't feel like it, my Amstelveen 7’s heart bleeds... I trust you will understand why! On the other hand, when I see the New NFC Wanderers playing in the VETS competition nowadays, my thoughts go back, way… way ….back…..….

But as players we still had to make it happen on the pitch, and believe me, that was no easy task. Once the tournament really started to warm up, and the quarter finals of the Silver Pier were in sight, the whole club was lined up along the touch line in thick rows with other supporters and friends amongst whom our club friend superstar Clive “Billy Wizz” Rees ‘yelling’ us over the other line, and the whole of the Netherlands became one with us. For a brief moment, Amstelveen's blue was the new orange. It was wonderful to be the best on one day. Dutch club teams that treated us to heavy defeats in the 15-a-side rugby top league were already eliminated on Saturday themselves and watched with amazement and pride what Amstelveen managed to do on the field against a lot of superstars. 

Even an automatic entry for future participation in the tournament by the organisation was obtained, based on our performance, and believe me the tournament was hot. Erik Jaap Reede, usually the fastest number 9 in a 7's tournament, was never impressed by the big names playing for the opponents, and did things that these opponents did not expect from a club team from Holland amidst all the fierce competition. That always reassured me, and helped take our team to heights we hadn't reached before. 

Apart from the fact that we were (initially) underestimated by our big opponents, and had the benefit of the doubt a bit on our side, our players were, with one or two exceptions, all born in the sixties and were well-educated rugby players polished well by the Maestro Gerrit Dekker, among others, with a special technique and, above all, a lot of speed in every position. The latter was probably the most important thing in 7's at that time, and possibly still is - pure speed. 

The knowledge that any player could score a try from anywhere on the field.  I run the risk of forgetting someone, but I see as fellow players around me especially in this successful period (2 times in the last 4, and mostly in the last 8) probably Holland's best ever Erik Hengeveld, his brother and Amstelveen record international Paul and later even the creative Mr. 'Dummy' Rudy, speed demon Edwin Jansma, Joost (later Ascrum) Takken, The Blond Arrow (but unfortunately also butterfingers) Erik Jaap Reede, Jeroen 'sidestep' Donkervoort, ironman Diego Moll, diehard Marcel Bierman, and the indefatigable Harry Rammers. 

Many of these players were already Dutch A-internationals, but later also got to represent the Netherlands as a country in 7's at even bigger tournaments like Hong Kong and Sydney. I have always understood, in fact, that these unique and first prestigious invitations to top world tournaments and the international circuit for the Netherlands arose from Amstelveen's (then NFC, actually) good performance at this beautiful Amsterdam tournament, where we - so to speak - played our country into the picture.That year Steepholme (or Wales) was too strong for us, with the extra detail that the Welsh superstar Terry Holmes, the first world-famous Scrumhalf over 1.80 metres tall, knocked out our more local hero Paul Hengeveld in an ugly tackle (which would be forbidden now) leaving him with a broken wrist. 

But I still think with great pride of renowned opponents we either sent home or gave a tough run for their money such as St Mary's College (actually Ireland), Saracens, White Hart Marauders (actually England, with legends such as Peter Winterbottom, Will Carling and Jeremy Guscott), and other winners such as Golden Oldies (a top international team). See various photos from that time (of course mostly black and white and the names as above) and of Clive Rees. With thanks to AAC Rugby and possibly others for the use of these photos.We as a club are not listed here but have been very close a number of times.... -Cris

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