Aussies in Sweden
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SPORT

AUSSIE RULES

No Aussie rules here so far, but Warren (alias augiewaz) is trying to fix that up!  The plan so far is for a mixed male-female teams based in Arnhem, Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Den Haag. If you'd like to join them email Warren at augiewaz@hotmail.com

CRICKET

Amstelveen (NH) http://www.vra.nl/english/indeks.html VRA Cricket Club.  Cricket season May until Spetember with a month break in August.  Further details on this club - as well as cricket in NL in general - available from Adrian Molloy (abmolloy) at expatcricketholland@yahoo.com

Annemarie Tanke is currently looking for some new players to her womens cricket team and an Aussie addition would be very nice. Just join in and we'll whip you into shape in no time!

Contact Annemarie on annemarietanke@cs.com 

Heerlen (Lim) http://www.cricketheerlen.com/  2 teams, playing through the winter indoors, a number of Aussies and Kiwis already members.

Utrecht (U) http://cricket.kampong.nl Kampong Cricket, Utrecht has had quite a few Aussie members, including Peter Cantrell, former opening batsman of Queensland.  They currently have Sydneysider Daniel Cashin playing for them. (NL)

Royal Dutch Cricket Board http://www.kncb.nl/ you can't just join in with this lot for a bat (and not to be confused with the Dutchbats)

CYCLING

Not so much a sport as a national obsession, as you will no doubt have noticed.  The bicycle (fiets) and the cyclist (fietser) are "protected traffic objects" here and you'll find that in event of an accident, the car driver will almost inevitably be deemed guilty.  Dinking is quite legal, you can ride two abreast, and Dutch mothers seem to find it a challenge to see how many kids they can transport with one bicycle.

So yeah, if you come across someone cycling down the wrong side of the road, drunk, with no lights and wearing dark clothes - be very careful not to hit him, or you're in trouble!  Don't fight it - join them!  Excellent cycle paths (which are also de-iced in the winter), cycle path signs (they're the ones with red letters), cycle route maps, hotels which cater to cycle holidays, lots of convenient ramps for wheeling your bike up and down steps, hardly a hill in sight, and the liberty to careen over the road at any time, with little danger to your life.  But be careful to lock it.  As they say, stealing bicycles is considered a sport in Holland, and locks are merely a challenge. 

For info on cycling, ask any Dutchie, or try http://fiets.pagina.nl/ (NL) - it includes bike routes (fietsroutes), bike holidays (fietsvakanties), bike shops (fietswinkels), bike insurance (fietsverzekering), bike rental (fietsverhuur), and if you've been fascinated by the weird bikes you lie back on, check the links on http://ligfiets.pagina.nl/ (NL) .  But aside from it being a means of transport and patriotism, it is also a sport here.  You'll also see flocks of cyclists (the only ones to ever wear helmets) racing around.  But then it's not called fietsen any more - it's wielrennen. So try http://wielrennen.pagina.nl/ (NL).

DIVING

Randstad Harings Diving Club www.randstad-harings.demon.nl/  for those new to sport diving as well as the seasoned veteran.  The only open BS-AC ( British Sub Acqua Club) branch in Holland, based in The Hague (ZH).  Have members from beginner to 1st Class Diver, and from Instructor Trainee to National Instructor, and all are volunteers.  Accept new members at all levels of skill from absolute beginner to First Class Diver.  Training is in English, qualifications are internationally recognised.  Informative website.

GOLF

Website with all the golf clubs in the country http://www.golfeurope.com/

HIKING

I would have liked to put in "bush walking", but as there's no bush here to walk in (at least, not as we know it) this seemed the next best thing.  The Dutch call it "wandelen", and it is considered a sport.  You'll see them wandelen about the countryside, especially (but not only) on sunny days, often dressed for the part in comfy clothes, maybe with gaiters, maybe with a stick, often with a day pack.  Oldies do it, families with young kids do it - it's just like bushwalking, except it's all flat and not nearly as many wild animals. 

Oh, and there are often nice pancake caf├ęs along the way!  Although you can do it anywhere, any time (another good use for bicycle paths) there are also specific routes you can take.  You can get hiking maps (wandelkaarten) from the ANWB (auto club) and from the VVV.  http://wandel.pagina.nl/ has lots of details (NL)

Pieterpad The most famous of the Dutch longer hiking routes is the Pieterpad, so called as it goes from Pieterburen (Gr) on the northern coast in the north to Sint Pieterberg (L) in the hilly south east.  As it's a total of 485km many people do it over a few years.  It is divided into 27 stages, and there are books, maps and websites about the route, where to overnight, etc.  Details can be found on http://pieterpad.pagina.nl/ (NL)

ICE SKATING

The Dutch pray fervently every year for an icy winter.  Snow doesn't matter; in fact it ruins the ice, so better none at all.  As soon as it freezes you'll see marks at the edge of the canals and ditches, where people (mostly little boys) have been testing the ice. 

And as soon as it's possible, they'll be out on it.  The Dutch prefer to use long ice skates to the ones we're used to seeing (which are only used here for figure skating or ice hockey) as they're better for distance skating.  If it's a good icy winter, you'll find there may be lakes, canals and so on that are set aside especially for skating, as well as special routes that you can take for much longer distances.  There are also cafés alongside the water which can open right up and remove their floorboards, so you can skate up to the bar. http://www.natuurijsschaatsen.nl has info on routes and starting points, often at one of these bars. (NL)

If you've never skated before, ask a Dutchie for advice on buying skates (maybe even borrowing some), or for help with learning, anything - you can be sure of an enthousiastic response.  And if you're not sure if the ice is safe to skate on, just ask a local (but not a little boy).  http://schaats.pagina.nl/ has a lot of good links related to ice skating.  (NL)  See also "elfstedentocht" further below under "traditional Dutch sports".

INLINE SKATING

These are called skeelers in the Netherlands'.  General info http://skeeler.pagina.nl/ with clubs, routes, shops. (NL)

Amsterdam  (NH) http://www.fridaynightskate.nl/ join the masses that skate every Friday evening through specially closed off streets in Amsterdam - probably summer only.

Rotterdam  (ZH) http://www.rotterdamonwheels.nl/row/indexie.html.

RUGBY

Not to be confused with rugby league (see below)...

Amsterdam  (NH) http://www.aacrugby.com/ AAC Rugby Club

Breda (ZH) http://www.bredaserugbyclub.nl/  (NL)

Eemland http://www.rceemland.nl/ (NL)

Haarlem (NH) http://www.rugbyclubhaarlem.nl/  (NL)

The Hague  (ZH) www.haagscherugbyclub.com  Haagsche Rugby Club (HRC) - biggest rubgy club in Holland, founded in 1932.  (NL)

Uden (NBr) http://www.octopusrugby.nl/ (NL)

Utrecht (U) http://www.tte.nl/urc/ Utrecht Rugby Club (NL)

WOMEN'S RUGBY

Dutch Women's Rugby http://www.damesrugby.nl with Kiwi coach Tammi Wilson

WHEELCHAIR RUGBY

Quad Rugby' http:/www.quadrugby.nl/ with info on "quad rugby" teams located in various locations round the Netherlands' and Flanders' (NL)

AT THE NEIGHBOURS

Leuven http://www.rugbyclubleuven.be

RUGBY LEAGUE

Please don't ask me the difference betweeb rugby and rugby league... I still don't quite get the difference between footy & rugby.  I'm just taking their word for it!

Rugby League Holland http://www.rugbyleague.nl umbrella website promoting Rugby League as a new sport in Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/rugbyleague.nl promoting Rugby League as a new sport in the Netherlands. Keen to hear from anyone who'd like to play!

Currently here are two clubs and we hope to have four soon;
Rotterdam City Pitbulls RLFC: Rotterdam City Pitbulls .
Capital City Cobra's Rugby League Club (Amsterdam): Capital City Cobra's Rugby League Club

RUNNING

Amsterdam (NH) http://www.harrier.nl/ based in Amsterdam (NH)

Assen (Dr) www.assenh3.net

The Hague (ZH) www.haguehash.nl/

TOUCH FOOTY

Every Monday night starting at 7pm at Museumplein, Amsterdam (NH) - right behind the Rijksmuseum, just down the road from the Van Gogh Musuem on the big open park there - ending about 8:30pm. The touch footie season will commence from roughly the end of April and run until late September. Further details from Adrian (alias abmolloy) touchrugbyholland@yahoo.com  Cleansing drinks at a local bar afterwards!

TRUGO

Trugo-site: http://www.extremecroquet.org/about/trugo.html De bedoeling van het spel is dat een authentieke rubberen stootring met behulp van een houten hamer tussen de benen door, achterwaards weggeslagen wordt . Op afstand van ongeveer 25 meter (een wagonlengte) is een poortje van ongeveer 1.50 meter (spoorbreedte) opgesteld. De ring moet door dit poortje.
 Dedicated to enjoying eXtreme croquet, nature, and the near-death experience!

WIND SURFING

too many to mention http://windsurf.pagina.nl/ has all the links.  Due to the large amount of wind and water here, this is an excellent country to windsurf in

kitesurfing http://www.kitesurfschool.nl/engels/main.htm an alternative

YACHT

Netherlands International Yacht Club location: Oude Wetering  tel: 0172-518437 or 070-3821357

YOGA

yoga classes http://www.yogayoga.nl Daily Hatha Yoga classes in Amsterdam in English.  They currently have several Aussie students.  Classes are taught within the Hatha Yoga tradition, . based on the systematic practice of yoga postures and breathing; movement, bodywork and meditation. Elements of yoga philosophy such as qualities of mind, like honesty and non-violence, are addressed and cultivated through the practice itself.  Yoga props and partner exercises are used to support the postures and develop further understanding of the body. This approach also offers the possibility to adjust the postures on an individual basis.  For any enquiries, don't hesitate to contact Leo or Sandra on info@yogayoga.nl.

OTHER DUTCH CLUBS OF YOUR SPORT

http://sport.pagina.nl/ (NL) This page is full of links to all sorts of sports, including national clubs, local clubs, stadiums, etc.  If you're wondering, "korfbal" is netball, and "honkbal" is baseball!  There are even Dutch climbing clubs http://www.climbing.nl/   - about as natural as Australia having outdoor ice skating, but don't laugh - it didn't stop us getting a gold medal in ice skating, did it?

TRADITIONAL DUTCH SPORTS

vierdaagse - four day walk A wonderful Dutch idea!  Basically it works like this: you register and get a card.  For 4 consecutive days you walk, together with thousands of others, along a set route, getting your card stamped on the way - a good way to see your new home town.  At the end you get a little medal to show you've done it.  Lots of towns and villages hold a  "four dayer" each summer.  The one in my village (Boskoop) is for 10km each evening. The internationally famous vierdaagse is held in Nijmegen (Gld) http://www.4daagse.nl/frameset.asp?lan=eng and is for 50km per day (but you can opt to do 30 or 40). Some do the whole walk in clogs!  See also See also the heading above "hiking".

vierdaagse - by bike, canoe, or in the pool  Many towns also organise other versions of the vierdaagse, with marathons for cyclists, canoers and swimmers.  Check local papers.

most of the remaining traditional sports are to be found in Friesland', the northern province.  Friesland' has its own (recognised) language, and a very strong sense of tradition.  The road signs are in two languages, and you see more men in clogs than elsewhere in NL.

elfstedentocht - ice skating marathon http://www.elfstedentocht.nl held as soon as conditions allow it, generally about once every decade.  Entrants skate the 200km course in one day which passes through eleven cities in Friesland'.  They start before daybreak and end just after sunset, many sustaining mind boggling injuries (e.g. frozen tear ducts).  You can't miss it if it's on, the country goes beserk.  See also the heading above "ice skating".

wadlopen - walk to an island! http://www.wadlopen.net/ (NL) wadlopen is a masochistic sport - you walk over mudflats from the mainland to an island whilst the tide is out ("walk" is putting it mildly - you haul your legs out of calf-deep squelchy, mud then plunge them back in, over and over ...).  Strictly with a registered guide only as it is quite dangerous otherwise.  Makes you aware of muscles you never knew you had.  But you see seals, and the experience of standing in the middle of what seems to be the ocean is unforgettable.  A basic walk is pretty cheap.

skutsjesilen - yachts http://www.skutsjesilen.nl/ (NL) traditional (and stunning) Friesian yachts.  They race each year in summer, but you have to be Fries to enter.  But you can still get lessons, go for a trip on one, or hire one for a  holiday (http://botenverhuur.pagina.nl/ and look under the heading skutjes)

fierljeppen - pole vaulting over ditches http://www.pbholland.com/ Another sport mainly practiced in Friesland'.  Originally Dutch farmers walked about their farms this way, jumping the waterways that enclose each field with a long pole.  Be warned - it looks easy, but if you don't make it across, you'll slide down into a cold and muddy ditch, and the Dutch will laugh themselves silly!

AND THEN THERE'S ALWAYS THIS

boomerang throwing http://www.etlaare.demon.nl/abo.html website of the official boomerang association in NL, the "Algemene Boemerang Organisatie" (which gives them a most unfortunate acronym).  Details on courses, competitions, etc. (NL)

Dutch Dragons Zoetermeer (ZH) www.dutchdragons.

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