Happiness is in small things they sometimes say. But call a national championship a small thing. Or two national championships. Men’s and women’s national champions. As one highly respected member said with tears in his eyes when Ryan Klein had just taken the last wicket, “I am so happy.” And he wasn’t the only one. All reason went aside: men and women, players and fans, players and administrators fell into each other overjoyed and with mutual consent (every Rubiales is one too many) when shortly before 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 26, it became clear that, for the first time since 1992, the men’s and women’s national titles were going to the same club (at the time it was Kampong). And it was most likely the first time in Dutch history that this happened on the same day.
There was more luck, though. Thus throughout the day, improbably dark clouds passed us left and right. The week leading up to finals day, the weather forecast did not look too good. 3-5 mm of rain was predicted. That did not completely rule out a result -we have a fantastic groundstaff and are fortunate that our field is laid out on well-draining sandy soil- but whether a full match could be played was the question. But where it rained in Mariahoeve, Zoetermeer, towards Schiphol Airport and at Zestienhoven, it remained dry all day at Sportpark Westvliet. Games could be played on a fantastic wicket and in a fantastic atmosphere.
For example, we were fortunate that just on this final day the Cricket World Cup visited the Netherlands. After a tour on Friday past windmills, the Rijksmuseum, the grid at Zandvoort and the flower auction, this cup was allowed to stand at VCC on Saturday from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. and many people were overjoyed to have their picture taken with the World Cup.
And that fantastic ambiance was also created because we could rely on a great group of volunteers. We were fortunate that the old generation -who were already organizing great events at sports park Duivesteyn- together with a new generation of enthusiastic teenagers, twenty and thirty-somethings worked very hard the previous days to make the sports park finals-worthy. Rightfully something to be happy about.
It is beautiful that happiness is not rational. Because the emotion released at the national championships was not comparable to the feeling released when VCC 2 managed to maintain its position in the big league, something that rationally might be more important for the club in the long run (and the same goes if VCC 3 wins the final next week and gets promoted, also rationally very important).
And absolutely more important perhaps for the sport was that we managed to get two fantastic reports on the final day on TV(NOS and Midvliet TV). But the footage of the fantastic VCC-TV team after the final ball, when the livestream continued for a while, told the story. Deep down, happiness was felt by all and sundry who hold VCC dear about the second national title in 91 years of history, 21 years after the first.
Again, we don’t think we’ll top this year anytime soon. And in terms of feeling happy, that will also be quite difficult. But this is also why we do not think only in that one, ultimate achievement. We also cherish the happiness of the process to a title, the education that our youth players enjoy from top players and coaches, of the infrastructure that is already great but that we want to make even more beautiful and of making even more people part of that wonderful sport. We continue to build a culture of inclusiveness, of openness and integrity, of inspiring and engaging, and we are confident that results will come.
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