New club members equals a lot more friends!

As a hectic 2018 gradually draws to a close, we’ve had little chance to really look back and acknowledge the huge expansion of our club this past year. It’s no longer the same group of 15 or so members turning up in the early days, and with so much new talent coming on board, it’s time we make welcome some of our enthusiastic newcomers. Here’s a snapshot perspective from four recently joined members and their ambitions for the coming year.

Rebecca Schweitzer

Rebecca Schweitzer, 25, is originally from South Africa, but moved to the UK in East London at the age of 9. She is currently working as a digital marketer.

Choosing Amsterdam as a place to call home…

I have been living here for a year and 3 months. Coming to Amsterdam wasn't entirely planned. We were talking in the office in London about where we would move to next and I said Amsterdam (it’s close enough, but far enough, there is a marketing hub here and they speak great English). My boss happened to be passing and overheard. She pulled me into an office and asked if I was serious. I said I had pondered it but not thought seriously about it.  So she suggested I think about it, and I did. We pulled together a business case and I got transferred to the Amsterdam office. I came here on secondment for a year and then decided to stay and moved onto a Dutch contract; I would have hated to lose all the freedom, work life balance and short commute times!

Dutch quirks…

As much as they speak great English here, it’s still very Dutch! And I found that overwhelming at first. It also took a while to get a bank account and I had to use my Visa Debit, yet they hardly accept anything other than Maestro here! That was very frustrating. Also, their choice of lunch food...they are very happy to have a croquet squished in a bun with mustard.

Joining Amsterdam Netball…

I overheard someone talking about it at a wine club! And thought it would be a great way to meet other expats. I went to my first taster in April and went over my ankle immediately! So only officially joined in August.

Club highlights and ambitions…

The international tournament was a lot of fun! The brunches aren't too bad either. It’s fun and not too serious and I like that we play regularly.

The main thing was to get me out of the house and be active, especially as it gets darker. I wanted to meet new people and who knows, maybe become more involved in the committee at some point 🙂

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Jamaiah Newton-Herbert

Jamaiah Newton-Herbert, 21, is originally from St Martin and is a third year bachelor’s student in sports management and business.

Choosing Amsterdam as a place to call home…

In 2016, I moved to Amsterdam to further my studies. Currently, I am a third-year student at Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, studying Sports Management and Business.

Dutch quirks…

It just amazes me how directly on time Dutch people can be, of course besides the public transportation. Back home, being on time is quite rare and not much of a big deal. I am also the type of person who is usually late as well, but ever since I moved here it's something I had to adapt to and take a bit more seriously.

Joining Amsterdam Netball…

To be honest, after having one of the best summers, I knew my return back to Amsterdam would encounter some difficulties adjusting once again. Living and being far away from my family and close friends can be a bit hard, so I decided a distraction to keep my mind busy was needed. Many would think basketball would serve as my distraction, but for some reason I chose netball instead. This is a sport where I always felt I could improve in and become a better player.

Club highlights and ambitions…

It's definitely a welcoming and comfortable environment. It was not hard for me to fit in at all. Everyone is a bit funnier than I thought and of course I like the fact that basically everyone speaks English.

Basically, I just want to have a better understanding of the sport itself. This includes knowing the rules and various positions a bit more.

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Caroline Chinnery

Caroline Chinnery, 25, is originally from Leicester in the UK and is working as a financial consultant. Pictured here with her boyfriend, Keaghan Vryenhoek, she is also an unashamed fan of country music.

Choosing Amsterdam as a place to call home…

I started a 3-year training programme at work in the UK and I knew that following this I wanted to live abroad. When researching, I was mainly sticking to English-speaking countries, but met my boyfriend during this time who moved to Eindhoven to study. I decided I was more drawn to Amsterdam than Eindhoven as a city and quickly realised speaking Dutch is not a necessity (although I am trying!). I reached the one-year mark last week and have thoroughly enjoyed my time here so far!

Dutch quirks…

Haha, I feel like there are many, many things I could write here but I’ll keep to a few: the strange traditions of hanging rucksacks out of windows and putting carrots in clogs; cycling has to be in here (I’ve mastered the no-handed skill level but am yet to progress to full-Dutch carrying a crate of beer and children, whilst on the phone); why does Albert Heijn not take any normal form of debit/credit card? Despite all of this, it looks like I am staying for the long-haul!

Joining Amsterdam Netball…

I joined following a summer holiday in the UK in September and was pleasantly surprised. I wanted to meet some fellow expats, socialise and obviously get some exercise. I chose netball over hockey as I expected there to be less pressure with more of a fun atmosphere and less having to travel far for matches. I have to say, for a club in a country where netball is not commonly played, there is a level for everyone with many members; from international standard to, well, me!

Club highlights and ambitions…

I was lucky enough to be included in the tournament (shout out to TEAM NOORD!) I enjoyed the team spirit and the opportunity to play many games back-to-back, and really getting into the sport again after many years of not playing. I’ve also enjoyed the social events from the club with brunches, wine tasting and quizzes, although sadly not winning!

I would really love to go to a tournament abroad and meet more people through the club (both Dutch and expat hopefully!). But starting with small goals, I just hope I can make myself go to training as it moves to the other side of the city to go indoors.

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Helena Gansted-Mortensen

Helena Gansted-Mortensen, 25, is originally from Aarhus in Denmark and is in the final year of studying for her master’s degree in law.

Choosing Amsterdam as a place to call home…

I moved to Amsterdam in the middle of August. I am doing a semester at the Vrije Universiteit as part of my studies.

Dutch quirks…

In a lot of ways, I think that the Dutch are quite similar to the Danes - often we are actually mistaken with each other. Both countries have a very flat landscape, the people are tall, and there are bikes everywhere. However, I do find the Dutch a bit more direct. When biking, there is always someone ringing their bell or yelling at someone else. With that said, it can be quite fun to bike around the centre and ring the bell at all the tourists like a game of Mario Kart. And I tell myself that it only makes me more of a local. Oh, and as for the smell of joints everywhere, I don’t think I will ever get completely used to it.

Joining Amsterdam Netball…

Before I came to Amsterdam, I was looking for a sport to do while being here. Back home, I worked out at the fitness centre, but I thought that it would be fun to try something new, and maybe something a bit more social than usual. I searched a bit on google and ended up on the webpage of Amsterdam Netball club. The club sounded so nice and open to new members that I quickly decided to sign up for an open Monday session. Even though I had never played before, or heard of the game, I was told that I was very welcome to join. So, I went to my first training in the middle of August, just three days after arriving in Amsterdam.

Club highlights and ambitions…

I really like how everyone in the club is so nice and friendly, and patient. As a first-time netball player, who still does not know all the rules, it feels extremely welcoming when everyone takes their time to explain, and no one gets annoyed if I make mistakes. Also, the variety of drills and just the fact that we are training outside (at least for now) makes the trainings so much fun.

I think that my goal is to actually learn all the rules and get a better understanding of the game - very basic, but also necessary if I want to keep playing.

Final thought…

A bit embarrassing, but to begin with I actually thought that netball was a Dutch sport.

Hmmmm...

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