“I am a little bit nervous”, admits medicine student Danique Bosman (22) before the match. “The last time we played against Dunas 1, we won 26-15. I do not know how the match will go, but I think everyone is feeling positive nerves. At the same time, I’m excited, because if we win, we will be playing in the first division next year, and it will be awesome!”
Despite the emotions before the match, the odds are in the home team’s favour on Saturday. “We have won every home game since September, so playing at home today gives us even more confidence”, reveals Chris van Dijk (42), head coach of the team. We’re playing against number 7 [Dunas], and they’re already relegated to the third division, so that also gives a bit extra confidence.”
The confidence paid off, as Erasmus 1 secured a victory by a big margin. The contest was initially even, but the pre-match confidence helped the team dominate the majority of the match. That was not a deciding factor this season that guided them to promotion, though.
What is the team’s secret behind having such an impressive season? “We had miracle wins and draws this season”, confesses Roel Brouwer (25, Business Information Management). “Last season, we had miracle losses, but this time it is the other way around. This season, things just went our way.”
Ascension to the first division is followed by celebrations. Cheers, chants, joy, and beer are shared by everyone. “We will start off with beers, and it’s only the beginning ”, laughs Sanne Dikkenberg (18, Liberal Arts & Sciences). Regardless of the team’s congested weekend schedule, the festivities will not stop. “Some will celebrate in Groningen because there is a tournament there”, says Roos Meijer (22, Financial Economics). “Ourselves we will celebrate on our own here with beers and then probably go out clubbing.”
The team is set on becoming the second division champions, which can happen as early as next week. Should that happen, a classic prejudice about korfball players showering together could become true for team captain Jelmer Bastiaans (24, media and journalism graduate). “The only time we shower together is when we are champions, and we can become champions if we win next week”, he laughs.
The first division is the fifth level in the Dutch korfball competition. RSKV Erasmus has never played in the first division before. The promotion makes Erasmus 1 the highest playing team from Rotterdam and the highest playing student team in the Netherlands.