Edinburgh International Korfball Tournament
It felt a bit like the beginning of a school trip: the backpacks, the packed snacks, and the excitement on our faces as if we were little kids. Instead of boarding a school bus, however, we boarded a plane to Edinburgh to take part at the Edinburgh International Korfball Tournament (EIKT). Swiss korfers from Zurich, Lausanne, Bern and Basel came together to compete as team Switzerland against teams from the UK, Sweden and the Netherlands. Before game days Saturday and Sunday, we got to know some of the teams at the pub social.
Saturday morning, we finally had the chance to play some korfball. We opened the tournament, playing the first game of the day against Edinburgh Uni 3. Despite our particular mix of players never having played together as a full team, the divisions quickly jelled. The pre-game "Hopp Schwiiz" cheer still echoing in our ears, we were highly motivated and still very energetic and fresh, so that we could score some goals and celebrate our first victory.
In the next game against Glasgow we were facing one of our own players Nina, who temporarily left Switzerland to do her masters. The game was a lot of fun, but we had to take in our first defeat. After some reassuring words from coach Afke, we tackled the next games against Edinburgh City, Northern Storm and Cardiff Raptors. The latter which being against Swiss player Luzia's former club, was of particular excitement. "We really have to win", Luzia said jokingly before the game. In the end, we drew against the Raptors, ensuring everyone still remains friends in the typically neutral Swiss way.
After a fun day of games and a noticeable improvement in our cooporation and tactics as a team, we were very excited to join the social organised by the Edinburgh club: Scottish Ceilidh dancing! Witnessing the elderly lady shouting 1, 2, 3, 4 at a big crowd of young people in her lovely Scottish accent, who then danced and moved around to the orders of the said lady was simply priceless. Some say it was the highlight of the tournament. While the whole team showed off their dancing skills and hip swings at the ceilidh, only very few made it to the club that marked the true closure of the evening social program.
As we came 4th in our group on Saturday, we were playing for rank 9-16 on Sunday. While most of us were fairly ambitious and hoped to achieve the best rank possible, the main aspect of the tournament was also having fun and gaining experience in playing games, which we certainly did. We learned how to play together successfully, how to defend efficiently, and how to do all of this with a big grin on our faces. We left the tournament satisfied, knowing we did our best and had lots of fun. As a big plus, we were also able to make some new friends and make Swiss Korfball a bit more prominent in the world of korfball. Many thanks to Edinburgh for the fantastic tournament, we had a blast!