Student - February 23, 2012

The Wageningen Warriors on the warpath

Lacrosse is one of the fastest growing sports in the Netherlands. The European Cup is even being held in Amsterdam in June. Not to be left behind, Wageningen now boasts a weekly training session and a group of enthusiasts working on setting up a club. An interview with prospective club chair Daan Kea.

Daan Kea: ‘Football is so mainstream.'
What is lacrosse?
‘A team sport with teams of ten people. Everyone has a stick with a net on the end of it with which you pass the ball. The ball looks like a hockey ball. You have a defence area and an attack area and a small goal, a bit like in ice hockey.'
Why do you play it?
‘It's something a bit different. It is not like other sports and that has its own charm. Football is so mainstream.'
But why lacrosse, of all things?
‘They call it the fastest sport on two legs. Not only do you have to run a lot, but you also need some mighty fast team play, and you are not allowed any physical contact with your opponents. So you need good technique but you also have to be fit.'
It sounds strenuous.
‘In competitions you wear all sorts of protection, almost like an American football player. But we haven't gone that far in Wageningen yet. Twenty of us train every Thursday and we borrow our sticks from the lacrosse union. We are still just learning the basic skills.'
Is it an expensive sport?
‘Not at the moment. Anyone is welcome to join in. Eventually, members will buy their own sticks and they cost 30 euros. But a full set of gear costs 200 euros, so that is quite an investment.'
Does it give you big muscles or a six-pack?
‘You run around a lot, so it can help you get fit. And using the stick develops your biceps.'
When did you first encounter the sport?
‘In October there were four clinics in Wageningen. They were such fun that I wanted to start the Wageningen Warriors. The Dutch lacrosse world is very friendly. Other clubs are happy to help you. For example, for our first training session we were bailed out by the Keizerstad Cannibals, who lent us their sticks. Really chill.'

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