I was going to write about the Football World Cup and more specific as to why I have trouble feeling proud, after my initial good mood, about the achievements of Dutch Football team. Recent events however will make this a football entry but nowhere near what I intended.
Football in the Netherlands is run via clubs. The normal structure for these clubs is age groups till 18-19yo and then everyone becomes a so called 'senior' with age no longer a determining factor. I myself started at the age of 4-5 and finished around the time I was 25. I peaked around age 17 and after that football became more of a social event for me. Kicking a ball on a Sunday with friends whilst slight bellies became more and more less slight.
Back in my day our club also had a Handball division but as membership went down it had to be resolved a few years ago. The great thing however was that many of my friends who only played football got romantically involved with the ladies playing handball. Several marriages found their origin in those. You can imagine where their offspring ended up. Yup, playing football at the same club.
I still visit the club. At least twice a year I make an appearance and I always end up with the tune from "Cheers" *Where everyone knows your name* in my head.
It is a small community in itself. With friendships and bonds running though the entire club. This is why yesterday's news has hit us hard. On flight MH017 that went down over Ukraine was a family from our club. John was coaching the 6-8yo. His son Ian played in that team. Julian played for the 13-14yo and Chris for the 15-16yo. You'll understand that Mom Sandra was a regular visitor as well.
To make matters worse a family from a neighbouring football club, with whom we have a friendly rivalry, was also on board that flight. As was the brother of one of our other members.
I can only hope those affected by these losses will find the strength, and if needed ask for assistance, to cope with this. We'll be right there.