There was an electrifying atmosphere amidst the crisp autumn air at the Voorschoten campus of The British school in The Netherlands (BSN) on Saturday 8 October. Spectators travelled to Voorschoten from as far as the UK and Germany to watch the much-awaited international Rugby League match between the Netherlands and Germany. The buzzing crowd present at the event was “unparalleled to any other rugby league matches hosted by the Netherlands rugby league”, as stated by the president of the Nederlandse Rugby League Bond (NRLB). The international rugby match was also the first of its kind to have ever been held in the historic town of Voorschoten.
The event was held at the sun-kissed school grounds and consisted of many activities such as food stalls, face painting and merchandise booths, all run by BSN students. Live music performances by the school bands and a DJ created a lively atmosphere during the halftime and end of the game. Junior School BSN students were mascots for both the Dutch and German teams, and a student sang the Dutch national anthem before the game’s start.
According to Thomas Archer, a sports teacher and the Head of Co-Curricular Activities at the school, “Seeing so many students actively taking part in the organisation of the day and seeing the Junior School students getting the chance to be mascots has been the favourite part of my day”. While another spectator said that the Dutch national anthem at the beginning of the game was a highlight for them.
A crowd favourite had to be the warm poffertjes made by the International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme (IBCP) students. One group of spectators who travelled all the way from Leeds, UK, said that the warm poffertjes were a “bonus” for them as they had “never tried them before”. While according to Annabel Semmence, who lives in the Netherlands, “Everyone seemed to enjoy the food, especially the poffertjes, and there was a long line during halftime”. Some Dutch supporters who have been following all the Dutch Rugby League games live since 2017 said, “it’s a great venue with good arrangements for food and beverages”.
A record number of 502 people attended the game. The president of NRLB said that it would not have been possible without the support of BSN. Mike Prins, who scored a try from the Dutch team, said that the huge crowd “was a huge motivation” for the team.
It was a neck-to-neck game, with Germany winning by 29-24 against the Dutch lions. While the Lions could not bring the trophy home, they still managed to put on an impressive game, scoring 18 points in the second half of the game.
The German side also played very impressively. Rohrmoser, from the winning team, said that “this was the best game” they had played so far against the Netherlands. Dave Hunter, the coach for the Dutch team, said, “Playing against professional players was perfect for us; this gives us the belief that we can compete against professional Rugby League players”.
The huge success of the day meant that everyone wants to see more such events take place in Voorschoten. The BSN CEO, Heath Monk, said he was hopeful that the school would host more international games in the future!
Ahnaf is an A Level student and the Student Leader for Charities and Events at the Senior School Voorschoten. He is also a member of the Eco Team and a researcher for the Voorschoten Energy Promise project.
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