The sport that shows what a hockey star can do with stick and ball
Written by Bernard Harvesterkamp
WINTERSWIJK – “We don’t have a Dutch champion in our midst every day,” said Mayor Joris Bingford. New Champion Malu Rinsink met with her father, mother and brother on Tuesday, August 10 to congratulate her. Malu is a hockey skills champion. It is a relatively new sport, in which you show off your skills with a hockey stick and a ball.
Congratulations on behalf of all Winterswijkers
“The whole Winterswijk is so proud of you,” said the mayor, “I am sure we will hear a lot from you.” He handed her a gift on behalf of all the residents of Winterswijk: three training balls with a coupon underneath to “buy something nice at the centre”. Outside on the lawn across from the town hall, Mallo showed what she could do with a hockey stick and a ball. It’s more than just keeping the ball high for as long as possible. The ball rises every now and then, after which it must be caught again with the stick in the place where it goes down. Meanwhile, it then rotates on its axis. There are many variables.
The mayor also tried to keep the ball high with a hockey stick after Mallo threw the ball. Bengevoord was briefly successful on the second attempt. After holding out a few times, the ball ended up on the lawn. You have to train to last longer. Malu does it every day. “I do it for at least half an hour a day,” she says. “Sometimes when I finish school quickly for an hour or more. During holidays sometimes it goes up to an hour and a half. It depends on how much time in the day there is. Every hole is full of hockey.” Malu has been playing hockey at Avanti since she was five years old. “So for nearly nine years.” Hockey skills are a new branch of the sport of hockey. He is about four to five years old. “I myself have been doing it for about two years.” Regular hockey, hockey skills, Mallu loves it all. “I don’t care. Hockey is hockey.”
No expectations in advance
The Dutch Hockey League has been around for three years. There are preliminary rounds for that tournament. “You have to submit a video for that. If you are selected, an online battle will follow. Then they put you up against another girl. We both have to submit another movie and then the jury chooses the best movie.” There are two rounds of it. The last day is the last day. Then the hockey players face each other “in real life”. “I was really very happy because I made it to the semi-finals and then there is also the final,” Mallo says. In that semi-final, each participant shows her best “tricks” at twice every 30 seconds. She had no preconceived notions. She wanted to make it a beautiful day. “Whatever happens, it’s going to be a great day with all those girls out there as well.”
The fact that Malo reached the final made it even better for her. She also won this. “I couldn’t have dreamed of it. Of course you really wish it, but you never expect it, because all these girls are so good.” But on the last day, Mallo was the best. She hopes that there will also be European and World Hockey Leagues in the future. Maybe she can participate. “That sounds really cool to me.” Her biggest dream is to enter the Dutch national team and win medals. The second dream is to play in the Premier League. “This is the highest level you can achieve with clubs in Holland. But if you really talk about dreams, the Dutch national team is one.” Hockey skills also help her with regular hockey practice. “You feel a lot of the ball. With tricks on the ground, you know exactly where the ball is and that helps.”
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