Our final, final, final farewell to Hannah!


Hannah Benson, 23, is one of our talented netball expats who is sadly saying farewell to the club (actually, at the time of publication, she has well and truly said her farewells and headed back home…“sniff!”). Originally from Newbury in the UK, she came to Amsterdam back in July of 2017 to undertake a placement year as part of her university degree in Business and Management. At Amsterdam Netball, she took on a senior role with the club, starring in recent tournaments in Stockholm and Costa Brava and became a core leader and coach with wisdom and strength well beyond her young years. Before departing, she left us with some of her reflections on her time here in The Netherlands.

Hannah and her move to Amsterdam…

I always wanted to do a placement abroad. I just never thought I would do it. But I found an internship that was offered in Amsterdam, and I thought where else could be better. I started off in Leiden, in a sorority house of 37 Dutch girls – that was an experience I do not want to relive! Then I moved to the fantastic Student Hotel where I got to meet other students in similar situations to me, which was perfect to make me feel more at home in Amsterdam.

Transitioning to Dutch life…

British people are over polite! Arriving here and even just going to a supermarket or out for dinner, the manners were a complete shock! Everyone here is so direct and blunt! And who knew that there could be a city where bikes rule the streets! Despite it all, I love it now, and I wish the UK would be more like this. But I don’t think it will go down well if I didn’t apologise for something five times even if it wasn’t my fault in the UK! Amsterdam is such a refreshing city to live in, the lifestyle is so relaxed…even if they do eat cheese and bread for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

Joining Amsterdam Netball…

I knew if I was to make friends and find something in common with people out here in Amsterdam, it was going to be through netball. So, on the 16th of July, 2017 – 2 days after I arrived, I messaged Amsterdam Netball, and who else but the sweetheart Nadine replied to me! She gave me all the details for my first session and if I wanted a three or six-month membership…little did she know I wanted the full year!!

Hannah (L) celebrating with Dominique (R) at the Costa Brava tournament
Hannah (L) celebrating with Dominique (R) at the Costa Brava tournament

Amsterdam Netball take-aways…

As lame as it sounds, I have literally made friends for life! Everyone from Amsterdam Netball has been so welcoming and friendly and they’re just the best to be around! Amsterdam Netball has also given me the opportunity to play netball in another country with other nationalities. And on top of that, being able to go to tournaments in another country – absolutely epic! I also can’t forget the amazing parties and festivals the girls from Amsterdam Netball have introduced me to! Who knew I would find a love for the Dutch techno. For sure, the parties in the UK won’t be the same!

The next phase…

Can I say that I just want to move back this time next year! Haha…I don’t know what 2019 has in store for me yet. I can definitely say that Amsterdam hasn’t seen the last of me, but I think I want to do some travelling first! I will miss my Nesties and all the friends I’ve made out here. If I could write a message that gave everyone a big hug from me that would be awesome! I’m not ready to go back, but I knew this time would come to an end, and I’ve had an amazing year. For those who are just starting Amsterdam Netball, you will have the best time, and with the changes coming into play, it’s going to grow and all the Dutchies will know what netball is!

Hannah and Friends
Hannah with her Nesties


By Blythe Forde

Blythe Forde is a member of Amsterdam Netball and regular content contributor.