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This month in STUDS

  • New Beginnings?
  • ARC BBQ, July 9. Ohh, this one's hot, so get your tickets while you can
  • Rugby during the summer
  • We have a new TC and these are the folks doing the work
  • Play Hard Play Rugby INTRO course starts in September
  • Rugby Value: Inclusion. Not just during PRIDE
  • TBM's are ready. And you learn some new vocabulary, too
  • ARC's Gear Swap Market: go all Marie Kondo on your kids' closet
  • Sports Camps this summer: treat yourself on a triple-date-night
  • What you at least need to know about what went on on the GMA
  • What's in a name? A great TBT from Cris

Editorial: New Beginnings? 

After a more than a year living with the restrictions and losses COVID left us with, the social distancing, the loneliness, for some of us tricky times to keep our mental wellbeing up, we might be closer to getting back to the New Normal as ever before, I think we all crave a New Beginning.  But can we already crack open the Bollie? 

Do we already know what we want that New Beginning to look like? Have we used the relatively sheltered leeway to figure that out? And if we did, how do we manifest that into reality? And does a New Beginning for us, also mean there's a new reality for others?
What I've observed is that the isolation, the not being able to play rugby and meet up with our friends has cracked open the lid on what it is that we actually need to feel human; The Other Person
Our species is hardwired for human connection. You can look up the research, we don't really 'jazz it' without meaningful relations, interactions and reflections. So we can really call ourselves lucky that we're part of a social family by being part of a rugby club where we can have all these things. 

However... in real life that's not always the case for some among us. So, que... PRIDE. You might have seen the rainbow flags, colourful football stadiums and corporations that bend over backwards to show support to the LGBTQI community. (sincere or not) And you probably remember the Amsterdam Canal Parade; a joyful celebration full of all colours of the rainbow. 
And... PRIDE is not just a party. It actually started out as a fight against the police in the early hours of June 28, 1969 in New York. Officers had been arresting queer folk for the better part of the 60's and that early morning, another riot was the straw that broke the camel's back. The most marginalised that found a home in the Stonewall Inn bar: queer homeless youth, drag queens and people identifying as trans -especially Sylvia Rivera (intersex) and Marsha P. Johnson (drag queen) - were the first to start fighting for their rights. (if that isn't a call to redefine your idea on what it means to really show your balls, I don't know what is
Although they didn't realise it then, they laid down the first brick in the long, loooong road to respect, acceptance and inclusion, that unfortunately (see Seije's quote below) is not completed everywhere in this world. Or in some of our social circles for that matter.
I often use the parable 'see me as the canary in the mine; if my rights and security as a queer person are under attack, you are next, so pay attention!' As long as one is not free, no-one is truly free. 
And there is actually a pretty simple remedy for fear of 'the other that does not look like me': 
Stop for a second and breathe, ask a non-judgemental question about the reality of the other, have empathy and compassion and try to see things from their side, and most of all, honour our shared common humanity. Because in diversity lies tremendous strength.
It was my Tour roomie Matty that opened up yeas ago and made me realise that straight men also hurt, and I'm happy and grateful to my brothers who joined this years' online MOCAFÉ sessions where we shared our stories of pain and confusion, where we ditched the bullshit (and of course I cried, because I'm 'built close to water') and where we were able to find our strength in our vulnerability, acceptance and that forged even stronger bonds between us men. 

I now know what my New Beginning looks like; radical honesty, vulnerability and an immense fire in my belly to be the best version of myself. I hope you do too. 
If you don't, no sweat. Shoot me a message and we'll grab a beer or a GT and see if we can figure it out together. 

Let's all try to be open and understand The Other Person a bit more, and make this world a bit better one person at a time and show your true colours. 
Have a great summer, enjoy this edition and STUDS will be back in September



Due to the fact that the Netherlands is slowly opening up again, and in close consultation with Jeff from the BKS (Bar, Kitchen, Cleaning), we are allowed to safely invite more people at the club. 

This means that for the BBQ after our Golf Social on 9 July, we are able to receive significantly more people. 

Everyone who can’t or doesn’t want to participate in the Golf Social, order your BBQ tickets by clicking on the BBQ-banner! 

It was already going to be an awesome day, but the more the merrier! 

For those who join us for the BBQ, it starts at 18:00!


Performance Squad (ARC 1 & 2)
Performance squad will start training on the Tuesday the 20th of July.  There are also 2 pre-season games at the club on August 21st and Sept 4th. 
The Thirds will continue training throughout the summer on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays.   Tuesdays and Fridays at 19.30h in Amsterdamse Bos. Sunday is a Thirds Day at the club, training starts at 14.00h, after training we eat and drink together.  Everyone is welcome to join.
All Blues
Training starts at the end of July (to prepare for a tournament). And a special Ladies INTRO will be held at the beginning of the season. (more info will follow)
Teambuilding event on Friday & Saturday August 27 & 28 (more info will follow)

Also see the banner for the Rugby-Spirit camps down below (3rd party provider) 


Micheal Assman, the interim TC manager's job is now done: he assembled a new TC that will lead the way forward on the development of rugby in our club. Thank you Michael!

There will not be a single manager, instead the TC will function as a collegiate committee which shares responsibilities and divides the work. We are happy and thankful with the ARC members that stepped up to the plate to form this important body within the club. We happily introduce you to them. 

Jamèl Khouda: Performance.  Pieter Hansma: Participation. Gerben Brug: Lowlanders. David Sherman: Medical. Carlos Fitzsimons: Referee. Jantine Gelton: All Blues. Karin De Groot: Cubs, Juniors, Colts. Nadine Klokkers: Turfs, Benjamins, Minis and Lars Walda as Secretary. 

The secretary of the TC manages the incoming mail, plans the meetings and acts as a contact for the board and the union.

We wish all of you a good start this season!


This week Pablo spoke with Giuseppe Tazzi. For years, he has been one of the driving forces behind the club's introduction course "Play Hard Play Rugby". He told STUDS about the vision of this yearly 6-week rugby course that recruits new ARC members that starts September 22. 

The introduction program focuses on being intense, social, and very inclusive: in 6 weeks we help everyone find their spot on the pitch, make sure they understand the principles of the game and can safely join the regular team trainings.  


"We believe in a world where everyone’s physical and mental potential can be brought to the maximum when surrounded by other people. We do that by connecting diverse people within the (greater) Amsterdam community to stimulate each-other to have more physical and mental strength. We offer a 6 weeks introduction to the game of rugby. In that way, people can train their minds and body with certified professionals and see if the greatest of all games is for them."  

He ads, "Plus this is not a bootcamp, this is RUGBY. Contact us if you think this is for you, (or for one of your friends)."  If you want to know more about it visit or smash the button. 


After hearing from our founders (40’s/50’s), the gentlemen of my generation (60’s), 3 club icons of more recent year’s (70s), the ALL BLUES LADIES, this month an important Lowlander and 3 homegrown ARC 1 players will enlighten us with their views on this this month’s ARC core value Inclusivity - Cris Gale

Seije van der Veen - Player ARC 3 & Lowlanders

Inclusion to me means having respect for each other within a team. Not judging someone's lifestyle, background or things they have not chosen for themselves. I'm an 'import Frisian with no rugby background', I often felt like an immigrant in the suburbs, but I've always felt very welcome at ARC.  

When you think of Inclusion within ARC, you quickly think of the ARC Lowlanders. On the old rugby shirt it said gay rugby team. But since last season we also have a women's Lowlanders team. 

When I looked at the website today I saw that the Lowlanders are now an LGBTQI+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex) team. It seems we are becoming more inclusive and naming it too.  Since the ladies have joined, we regularly engage in interesting discussions. For example, last year when a new design was made for the men's ties and bow ties for the ladies. During a general meeting it emerged that certain members did not agree with this gender norm. In the end, it was decided that members could choose whether to wear a tie or bow tie.   

As a player for ARC3 and the ARC Lowlanders, I see that there is a lot of inclusion in both teams I play with. You see players playing on both teams and also players actually choosing one team. I think it makes ARC more valuable as your club, since you can choose what team you want to play for. Sometimes the ladies play with the men and they also shower after the game. Also on or off field I don't hear much swearing involving someone's color, origin or sexual orientation.   

However, we see that inclusion is at risk. For example, in Hungary were they went big step back in the freedom of the LGBTQI+ community. Also, a more rugby related event where trans women are only allowed to compete in professional matches only under certain conditions. In my opinion, therefore, inclusion will continue to be an important issue within the club. (note from Editor: actually, World Rugby banned transwomen from playing on the highest level)

On or off the pitch, ultimately, there is a place for everyone at ARC.  

Jamèl Khoudja - Technical Committee - Captain ARC 1 and ex Ned A selection  

"After a hard fought match when the beer is flowing abundantly, I have never felt left out because I decided not to drink anymore. I have always received support and love for my decision from the people at my club". 

Sebastiaan Brom - STUDS Editorial Board member - Player ARC 1 - ex Youth international  "Inclusivity to me means a sense of belonging and being accepted for who you are, without having to adapt to group norms, as long as you treat each other with respect and show that your heart is in the right place. For me, ARC embodies this feeling the moment I step through the gates."  

Melvin Gale - Sponsor Relations & Partnership manager - Vice Captain ARC 1 - ex Youth international and Netherlands B 

 "When I was studying in Cape Town in 2016, during the "Fees Must Fall" student protests - where historical and contemporary political and socio-economic inequalities were once again painfully exposed - it was evident that the rugby field was pretty much the only place where origin, ethnicity, race or sexual orientation did not matter. On the field, integrity as a person, perseverance and a willingness to work together are what counts. These values are promoted even more strongly at ARC, with an explicit emphasis on inclusivity, where everyone can express themselves freely.”


TBM ready for season 21/22 

While the Turfs have just finished their last training session and the Benjamins and Minis are already enjoying their well-deserved rugby summer holiday, we would like to take a small look at season 21/22. 

Of course, we noticed last season that planning and intentions can be overtaken by daily reality and necessitate flexibility and the moving of the tryline. What has stayed with me from 20/21 is the enormous creativity and commitment of players, coaching staff and parents to keep it all interesting and workable and organise it in such a way that rugby fun and participation were maximised. 

Because I simply love statistics, I would like to mention here that the attendance (Attendance Rate) at the Benjamins (AR = 79.7%) was extremely high and there were even 2 players with AR > 95%.

Unfortunately, last COVID-season we were not able to give everyone a spot, but that is going to change soon so we can give various parents a role again in and around the field again as coach, referee, caretaker, observer, cameraman, image analyst, lace tie, bit melters, coffee bringers and mamdarijnenpeller. ('momdarine peeler') I'm sure everyone found and will find joy in their roles and I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to a successful season this season! 

For next season we also have a pool of parents who can help us with the various events we will be organising for the players (and sometimes brothers, sisters, friends, parents and grandparents). 

At the Minis, we will have around 30 players at the start of next season, a staff of 5 experienced trainers and 2 managers. 

At the Benjamins we also have about 30 players, 4 trainers and 1 manager and,  

for the Turfs we are still looking for additional coaching staff. 

We start training again on Wednesday 25 August. The best part will of course be that by that time we can play against other clubs again and especially our Turfs (the flagship) can become world champions again every week. The blue wave is ready to wash over Rugby Nederland!

- Rudy


Is your kid's gear bursting at the seams? Don't fret, Share! 

We all know that kids grow up faster than we would like sometimes. Not in the least because you keep buying clothes, shoes and the whole schebam. Since rugby gear is designed to withstand 'some wear-and-tear', there's a big chance that your kids' gear is still shining bright. Of course you are free to keep this ARC-shirt and look at it all teary-eyed when they leave the nest at 18. But if you want to go all Marie Kondo on your kids' closet, by all means, be our guest!  Karin & Sjoerd from the Youth Management have seen many parents that drop off their kids gear at the club that is not being given a new pair of shoulders to hug,  so they came up with the ARC GEAR SWAP MARKET. 


Simple: we have Sharers and Seekers and we try to match them as perfectly as possible. So, we made 2 forms; one for if you want to share your ARC and general training gear with the club. You can fill out what it is and what sizes. And one where you can enter what you seek for next season. We hope to get a good sharing going on. Not just because we go all 'shareconomy' on you, but also why waste good gear? 

We will look at all your entries and try to make matches. So, the more you share, the bigger the chances you're all happy. 

With the beginning of the new season Karin & Sjoerd will let you know how the handover will take place. 

You can of course share or seek gear all season.  

Questions? Mail them at 


Sport Camps this summer (3rd party providers)

After last year's summer, you might be just as happy as we are that there's more freedom this year around.


If you can't be bothered with checking out a summer destination that is not  'orange', (and not in the way The Netherlands could have been orange for the sake of soccer, for which we are truly bummed, too) or where the Delta variant has not yet spread, leaving you and your family into a forced 'staycation' of 14 days afterwards, then these sports camps might just be the perfect opportunity to have the best of both worlds! 

Your kid(s) have a fantastic time, get a work out and have their skills elevated to the next level & you get 3 'date-nights' in a row. Sounds like a plan to us. Check them out by clicking the banners below. Enjoy!

The organisation of these activities is done by a 3rd party, other than ARC. ARC therefore can not provide information, nor be held liable. 

The Cricket Academy Amsterdam organises multisport camps 


Rugby Spirit organises camps with support of Dutch rugby internationals


On Thursday June 24th another General Assembly for all members of ARC took place. Sjoerd, our secretary gives you a quick update. Members of ARC can request the full text with him. 

Just like the last GMA in September 2020, we unfortunately could not accommodate all members in the Clubhouse, due to the still valid Covid measures. Some of the members took the opportunity to participate online.  A total of 47 members, meritorious members and honorary members cleared their agenda to attend the GMA. 

The main part of the meeting consisted of an update on the state of affairs of the club, in terms of membership numbers, finances and facilities and also an important part was the previously announced structural change of the club.  

In terms of membership we can certainly not complain. With the seniors the numbers have remained roughly the same and with the youth we have even seen a slight growth! Partly, of course, because the youth has been able to train for most of the year and, because of our size, can also play matches on Saturdays.  

Due to a strict financial policy we have not let the financial position of the club deteriorate in this strange year; indeed, the books look a little better! The final accounting for the current season will be done at the next ALV.  The ALV advised the board to ask the members what they want to do with the volunteer contribution prepaid by each player for last season. The board has taken this advice to heart and will approach the members about this in the near future.  

Furthermore, we spoke about the restructuring plan that the board announced in the September 2020 AGM. This plan was further explained by the chairman. The bottom line is that in addition to the Daily Board (President, Treasurer, Secretary) there will be room for a Supervisory Board and an Advisory Board. These will monitor the Board (RvT) and advise (RvA) on club and policy matters.  The day-to-day operations and execution will be in the hands of the Extended Executive Board (EUB).  These are the committee heads who each represent an executive part of the club, namely Rugby Technical Committee, Facilities, Marketing & Communications, Commercial Committee and HR Committee.  The aim is to give more clout to these committees. They are responsible for the day-to-day business and will have periodic consultation with the DB.  

The first priority for the Board is to establish a Supervisory Board.  This was also put to the vote at the GMA and was adopted by a large majority.  And before we knew it, the clock was already approaching ten and we were forced to leave the Clubhouse. So this edition was a short but powerful GMA, in which the tenor was positive. The traditional board beer afterwards was unfortunately not possible this time, but the board still owes the participants that beer! We hope to see you all in person for the next GMA. - Sjoerd


What's in a name? 

(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 Jaar 1963-2013", which must still be available at the club)

Photo credits: partly thanks to Henk de Best

The most popular boy’s names in the Netherlands last year were Noah, Sem and Lucas. Fortunately no more trendy names or field hockey names like Spijker, Hamer and Siebold-Jan, and surprisingly biblical if you think of it. Nothing wrong with the name Spijker of course, which in fact gives me a warm feeling, but then more specifically as the surname of the important ARC family, of which an important part tragically are no longer with us. How different things were when our youth department was founded almost 50 years ago at NFC in the autumn of 1972. What were the prevailing names then, or put another way as I was there, which are the names that have stuck with me personally? And what exactly do the names of things tell us in historical perspective? 

I have doubted it at times but according to ‘history’ my father thought it was about time for me to start playing rugby. The fact that the Ajax youth academy (talking about big names in those days) showed interest in me due to a successful school soccer competition, was probably the sign for my 'old school' father to hurry up. I have sometimes thought that perhaps the real reason was simply his own passion for our noble sport, but in any case, 49 years ago, via a detour and some inquiries at our friendly rivals AAC, he ended up at NFC in Amstelveen. Perhaps further inspired by the fact that the letters NFC were the letters of the first names of his 3 children, he set off - after the tip and desire of AAC chairman and gentleman Toon Bogers to expand youth rugby nationwide more - immediately looking for an entrance to start youth rugby at omni club NFC. 

At that time at NFC since its founding in 1963, rugby was only played by seniors. For the youngsters among you: NFC is 1 of now 3 old names of our club. Despite almost mythological stories about who first addressed John Gale in Amstelveen and who 'dragged him in', I know from two first-hand accounts that upon entering a crowded football-rugby sort of construction shack that temporarily passed for a club house at the time, he himself addressed the Maestro Gerrit Dekker who later often repeated, with a smile and a very forced English accent, the legendary words: "You must be a rugby player!"On Saturday 2 September 1972 on a kind of dead ball patch at the end of a reddish gravel field I attended the first youth rugby training at NFC together with my brother Nick (by then 14 years old and already playing school rugby at boarding school in England), Marcel Bos and my school buddy Peter Spook (yes really, see photo below!). 

Was I the first youth member? No, actually not, as Marcel had turned up a week too early already, but in any case I was among the first 4. There is still a discussion going on about who was the first to enter the gates that day 😉. In any case, our trainer was a well-known figure to me, a kind, very British man, in a green tracksuit, shoes with 2 stripes ("Adidas is rubbish, son"), and probably

a cigar in his hand, who in daily life passionately provided the world with news 12 to 16 hours a day together with his staff at the Associated Press (AP) headquarters working from a beautiful canal house in Amsterdam. Saturday was his rest day or youth rugby day, which as a rule had to give way to everything.

In those days, NFC was primarily a typical large top amateur football club that (later) also played in the premier league, and from which players were even scouted by professional clubs. The rugby club itself within this omni-club was comparatively small, and although welcome, in their view a branch that played a minor role. The late honorary member Tom Cornwall SR who represented us on behalf of rugby on the main board will have had no easy task.

Soon the youth rugby started to grow rapidly and the enthusiastic youth leader got help from all sides on the field, such as first team players and other seniors in the club who wanted to see what was causing the rapid growth in membership every week. Men of the first hour such as the late Ben van Aken, l.v.v. Johan Bennewitz, honorary member Rene Grijzenhout, Henk Noordman, George Worsley, Peter Owen and of course the Maestro, the late Gerrit Dekker, are the first names that come to mind in those early days as field trainers, but there were many more who quickly followed. 

A special mention should be made of honorary member Henk de Best, who more or less from day 1 was my father's greatest support and anchor and who, with 200% commitment, picked up every problem that naturally arose and dismissed it with the words "John, these are details" to reassure him. Gale described his good friend himself in 1988 as follows: "Henk is (probably) the greatest clubman that NFC or any other club will know". It was all about playing rugby on the field at the time, the rest was only 'details' is perhaps the lesson to be learned. If the rugby is good and well arranged, the rest will follow. How current is that......But this is not an story of the origins of youth rugby and the huge successes in the early years (by far the most successful youth rugby club in the Netherlands in the 70s and early 80s), nor a piece of family history (that's for others to write), it's about the names, and as we all know, naming names is always risky because you run the risk of forgetting someone and doing wrong. In the second week, top player and later multiply capped international Edwin Jansma signed up, whereupon Dr. Neil Mayne (then chairman of rugby, ex Bath top player/coach and even honorary member of Rugby Nederland (or the former NRB)) announced that membership had grown by 20% in one week. 

That trend continued and soon legends in the making such as Kees Combee, the first of the famous family name Erik Hengeveld, Leo and Rob Noordman, the late Klaas Veldhuisen and the then only 7-year-old Marcel Honingh were eager to join. Soon many followed including big names such as Jan Eveleens, Erik van der Heuvel, Joost Helderop, Fred Mus and Louis Schlee and later that year Berry de Wit and Jeroen Donkervoort (see photo). We suddenly counted 30 men at the end of the first season, and that was the start of winning many cups and national titles.

Jeroen Donkervoort front middle with ball (Captain)

Youth rugby was developing rapidly at that time, I guess with about 20 clubs and besides the clubs that already had youth rugby well underway such as Castricum, Den Haag, Hilversum, AAC, HiIversum and even Oememenoe (note the spelling), more and more new clubs came forward that did not want to be left behind. It even grew so fast that our club proposed the introduction of player cards by name to the union (yes, that DIOK 'mini' with beard and moustache and moped helmet, was going a bit too far even for us....), and names were introduced for the age groups to make things run more fairly. Cubs and Colts are NFC finds, or at least these names, obviously taken from the English rugby system. The name Minis was added later and Juniors is an NRB find. Unfortunately, the NFC proposal for the even younger MINIMALS was not adopted, and eventually became Benjamins.

What's in a name? My father thought it was very important to speak to all the boys at least once every practice, and as a practical solution to this, he always sat with - as far as I know - a self-paid inviting-looking, crate of refreshments at the corner of the bar and opened each bottle for the thirsty players who walked by 1 by 1. This way he addressed them by name, showed interest in their lives, and got a weekly update (even from me haha....) so to speak. He also knew all the names and wanted all youth members to know each other’s names, from old to young, as prior to each training or other moment of gathering he 'took the roll call' like an army officer and read out all the names, to which the attendees had to answer whether they were present...... 

This attendance list is something that was kept up to the very last training in his familiar notebook. A nice detail here is that in those days names like Robbie, Jeroen and Erik were more commonly used. For example, Erik Hengeveld will still be 'Erik 1', and Erik van der Heuvel 'Erik 2'. It was not a value judgment, but simply the order of 'entry'. I believe that at one point there was a Robbie 5, and the Jeroens were also well represented, with - in those days together with Kees Combee and Berry de Wit - one of the most famous guys from all of Amstelveen, the legendary Jeroen Donkervoort. Jeroen Beeke and a little later Jeroen van Egmond of course got a ‘serial number’, because I almost know for sure that Donkervoort (or 'Donkers', later praised by my father as the best player who ever came out of the youth (gulp.....)) was Jeroen 1.The cautious conclusion is that there is a lot in a name. 

Cris Gale ball in had, followed by Joost Takken, Jan Eveleens and Berry de Wit

The fact that the club originated in 1963 as The Netherlands Scottish Rugby Club, that we were soon called NFC, that we were temporarily registered as Amstelveen Rugby Club 1890 and now as the Amstelveen Rugby Club. It all has a reason this change in naming. Now that we are fortunate enough to be able to enter our beautiful clubhouse once again, look around you and remember the names, and if you see any of the men from the first (youth) hour, tap them on the shoulder, buy them a beer and ask about their past, and how they are doing so many years later. Although I often laugh when I have to pronounce my real Christian name at an official event (which also explains the missing 'H' in Cris), I know for sure that there never was a Crispin 2 in the past.

With 1890 oval and deeply-rooted Amstelveen, NFC and even some Scottish greetings,

- Crispin Jeremy John Gale


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