All members who participate in this process, are inspired by this hobby, working hard and realizing ambitious plans one by one!
At first let’s take a look for numbers:
– Amount of clubs – 3
– Amount of tournaments – 1, first has been held in 2017:
• Status – international
• Amount of countries that took part in the tournament – 7
• Amount of nominations – 7
– Amount of fighters – about 70
– Date of origin HMB movement – 2014
– Composition – fighters, development managers, marshals, trainers, head of the federation, treasurer, secretary, international representative.
So, let’s take a look in detail how affairs are going for the Dutch. It’s a fascinating story that Esther Veldstra shared with us. She is the captain of the Netherlands national selection at the HMB and an international representative.
For 3 years the Netherlands HMB participants were an unofficial movement, but they always had a dream – doing this sport. They found that it was valuable to find a communication platform between the teams. Esther says: “We saw the hardships other countries with older HMB movements endured and we decided we wanted to prevent having to go through the internal wars and struggles of those organization. So communication has always been key with us.
Of course, there is a healthy competitive atmosphere between the clubs, but all in a way that helps the sport grow. Of course, you want to be better than other. But above the rivalry is the conviction that we are a small sport, and that we need each other to grow and develop further!”
A great example of this cooperation is the open trainings. The clubs have their own training days for members, but in addition they also regularly organize open trainings where members of other clubs are invited to join them for training. “Lions of Steel” organized one in September. “Ascia” is hosting in October.
Fighters are rapidly increasing their professional level. Esther is proud of the results:
“Training level is on the rise now that there are more regular trainings in the Netherlands. You can see that “Lions of Steel” has developed into a young and strong energetic team, and “Ascia” is close behind them.”
In 2017 very first Netherlands tournament “Kening Striid” have been held. With 68 individual fighters from 7 countries and 7 categories, it was a tremendous success! The quality of the fights was very high, and “Lions of Steel” has taken 4-th place out of 8 and “Ascia” has taken 6-th. They have shown that quality of the fighters is growing too. Fighters visited the Netherlands to have a wonderful time.
Esther talks about a fighter whom she is particularly proud of:
“We are not yet at the championship winning level though, but a few fighters do stand out. For an instance, Denise Scheltinga is one of the latest additions to the team. Denise is a personal trainer and used to do boxing at a pretty high level. She has now joined the steel movement and has taken the gold in “Kening Striid”, her first international tournament, in category “Sword and shield”. Very impressive.”
Esther has her own fascinating story about how she became part of the HMB movement:
“Developing the HMB movement is an adventure for me. In fact, long ago I promised to make the dream of my man come true – to fight at “Battle of the Nations”. He didn’t know how to do it. But I’m used to making results done thanks to my day job (software development). That promise has been the driving force behind putting this thing in motion. Now, after three years, we have a steady team dedicated to making this movement grow.
What is interesting to know, is that the ones on the board of the national organization are not fighters. They are so passionate about growing this sport, they are willing to work hard for it without ever getting to take the spotlights in the list.
For an instance, Cabriëlle Hendriks is the chairman of the board. She’s been one of the forces behind getting people together and making smooth communication possible. Jeroen Woeltjes is our treasurer, a steady force from the very beginning and a great addition to the team. Nikki Beeftink is right now our secretary, a young lady with a drive that this movement needs.
So our fighters can focus on fighting. We have people with their focus on training and coaching and running the organization and coordination of marshals etc”.
The Netherlands set themselves a number of exact tasks for the nearest future, and their consistency in achieving the goals is impressive. There are:
• working on further professionalization of the HMB movement
• working on a qualifying tournament for the upcoming world championships
• working on the further development of the tournament “Kening Striid”, which will be held on August 17-19,
And Esther impressed with her energy and faith to the team:
“We are fully ready to welcome more fighters for bigger and better battles. And it is our sincere ambition to add another tournament… or maybe two to our repertoire”.
This stunning story of development HMB in the Netherlands – we are sure in it – will inspire other countries! Development is what we all have to work on.