A full day of Netball under a hot sun...but boy, was it worth it!
By Nadine van der Wielen
This Paris tournament was a bunch of firsts for Amsterdam Netball. It was our first tournament of the year, the first time we went to Paris, AND the first time we realized that sunny weather isn't necessarily a good thing...especially when playing an all-day Netball tournament like we did. But hey, we know that now 🙂
On Friday the 4th of May, two cars filled to the brim with Amsterdam Netballers, set off from Amsterdam to the center of Paris. We stayed at St. Christophers Inn Hostel right by the Gare du Nord station, and it didn't take us long to sniff out some delicious French food and wines in the area. We enjoyed a warm, sunny evening strolling around the Montmartre and taking in the sights of Paris.
The next morning meant an early start, and we broke our fast on some eggs, bread and jams, before navigating the intricate Parisian transport system. After arriving at the tournament venue we had a quick briefing for the umpires and warm up before the first match.
Needless to say, our team sailed through the first round of the tournament and we came out at the top of our pool. We played against some great up-and-coming teams from Paris's British school and Netball Brussels. After this first round though, things got a little more interesting.
Already feeling the midday sun, we punched through a victory against Paris's Cranberries and the went on to face the London team in a dramatic play-off. There were some shouts, some warnings from the umpires, and some really big bruises (from both teams) afterwards, but we came out with the win in the end.
After another victory against Paris's Panthers, we faced the Cranberries for the 2nd time that day. Well, it would be an understatement to say that we were just too tired and too fatigued to make an impact in this game. We lost by a considerable margin, which put our hopes of getting to the final on a knife's edge.
In the end though, calculations were on our side and we found ourselves facing the Paris's Cranberries yet again! After what felt like an endless tug of war, and a few moments of utter hopelessness (let's be fair here, our team has just played 2 full hours of Netball in the 28 degree heat...so this match came down to a test of will), we managed to fight back after being behind by 3 points in the 2nd half. And WINNING the gold by 3 points (15-12) in the end!
What a grand old result from this resilient, albeit a bit of a last-minute, team! Absolutely amazing! Oh, and did I mention this was also the FIRST TIME we won gold in a tournament? WAHOOO!
Sebo and Sally, for being amazing captains. We know it's not an easy job!
Delle for organizing the accommodation and tournament team
Nadine and Tania for braving the Paris traffic and getting us there and back safely.
Paris Netball for organizing a great tournament.
Our last minute additions: Lucy and Dom!
And finally, the entire team who went to this tournament. Whether you were playing or supporting, you helped achieve this amazing moment in Amsterdam Netball's history!