After the largely hockey-free 2020 due to corona, all hockey fans hope that in 2021 it will be possible to play with stick and ball once again. TheHoofdklasse starts on January 31, but will it continue after that?
We look ahead with both famous and lesser known hockey celebrities. What do they expect? Today Kim Lammers, capped 200 times for the Netherlands, scoring 124 goals.
When can we all start playing hockey again?
Kim Lammers: ‘Before this strict lockdown started, I still had the hope that we – the holidaymakers – would be able to start again in February. But now that January 19th is getting closer, I have a hard time. It would be great if we could start again in the spring. Or continue playing hockey longer in the summer. I do expect that the start of the big league on January 31 will continue anyway. In view of the Olympic Games, you cannot let the big league sit still any longer. Moreover, such strict protocols have been made that it is safe. ‘
What will be the biggest challenge in the coming six months?
‘To stay positive and to keep it fun together. The atmosphere at the club is gone. The clubhouses are empty. What I miss is the pleasant arrival at the club, drinking a cup of coffee, having a chat with the people who are always on the line. I don’t really like it this way. Empty football stadiums are at least a closed area, but if you play in Den Bosch, to name a few, then you do so in a screeching, cold wind, in front of an empty grandstand and next to a raging A2. It is also a challenge to ensure that everyone stays fit. Many games are scheduled in the Dutch big league. On the other hand, it may also have the advantage that talents are given the opportunity. ‘
What will you do first if you have been vaccinated?
Not necessarily other things. I especially want to be able to do everything carefree again. That I can play hockey again, that I no longer have to put on my face mask, that I can mingle with people much more. So that I can do whatever I want. ‘
When is 2021 a success for you?
‘Corona has had a huge impact on my work. Suddenly I had an empty agenda. But where doors are closed, other doors are opened. For example, I started coaching many more people and groups for my work. The time and energy that I was forced to invest in this, is now starting to pay off. 2021 has been a success for me if I am busy again. But also when there is a lot of sport and when the Olympic Games continue. In short: when we are ‘open’ again. ‘
Are the competitions going to end this season?
‘The big league certainly. I do not doubt that. Not only because the internationals will benefit from this because of the Olympic Games, but also because of the vaccination that has now started, because of the strict protocols that have been made and because of the weather that will hopefully lead to fewer infections. For the other competitions I find it a lot more difficult to say whether they will be played completely, but let me stay positive. So yes.’
Will the Olympic Games take place and how?
‘They continue one hundred percent. But I do expect in a different form than usual. Maybe with only a Japanese audience, or no audience at all. That is not good for the atmosphere, but the Games will still come to life here in the Netherlands. Sports fans crave it, just like the European Football Championship. I think we are all glued to the tube. ‘
Are you going to the European Championships in the Wagener Stadium in June if the public is allowed to attend?
‘Of course. I live in Amsterdam, it is in my backyard. I am a fan and I hope to be there for sure. Especially because there is always a very nice atmosphere at tournaments in the Netherlands. In recent years I have often been able to combine these kinds of matches in the Wagener Stadium with my work. I would really like it if that was possible again. ‘
‘ What are your expectations for the Orange teams this year?
‘I am very curious whether the competitions in the competing countries will continue like the Dutch big league. And if not, whether this results in differences. In any case, the women are the top favorites for Olympic gold. They are so very good. The top is much wider for men. It is super exciting there. I sincerely hope that the Netherlands wins, but I honestly think it will be Belgium. Or maybe Australia. ‘
Marco van Nugteren