Wywiad z Jantinusem Scholtmeijerem (English only)


For the beginning please tell us about your first steps in korfball, playing career, coaching and how Dutch-Polish friendship started?

My first steps in korfball I made in Anderen the village I was born. It was very simple to choose for korfball because in this small village there was only one sport club and that was korfball. I started playing korfball at the age of 9. At that time we have trained 1 time a week - only very simple basic korfball exercises. At the age of 19 years I changed club to ASKO in Assen, because the club was playing at the highest league level in Holland at that time and my school friends from Teachers Education Academy, also played for the ASKO club. Besides that, my future wife Martien was playing for this club. When I was 28 I started training and coaching Nic in Groningen (4 years) and after that  ASKO (3 years),  Ritola (4 years),  VDW (2 years),  ASKO (3 years),  Vitesse (2 years),  ASKO (3 years): very different kind of clubs in korfball mentality and korfball skills, but I had a great time during all these years. The most beautiful period was 1989 till 1996, when I was trainer from ASKO youth team with children in the age of 9/10 when we started. In that team were my sons Mark and Wim playing. We had a successful period with many championships in our district and two times third place on national championship, but most important fact was that:
1. These players had fun on the training and matches.
2. They really wanted to work hard on the trainings.
3. During these years they learned the basic skills of korfball.


How do you feel after so many years giving example to your sons who are role models for the others? Was this career something you wanted and expected them to have?

The magic word if you really want to achieve something in sport is DRIVE, PASSION and MOTIVATION. My sons, Mark and Wim started their sports activities as a football players in our home village - Gieten. After 2 years they stopped playing football and my wife Martien and I decided to bring both boys to korfball training to ASKO in Assen - about 15 km from Gieten. Right from the beginning the boys loved to play korfball because of the game and because of the social atmosphere of the korfball sport. After ½ a year I became the trainer of this talent full ASKO team. When we started with this team my sons were not the best players of this young team. But at that time, I could see - as a trainer, that Wim had more motivation, passion and drive on the training and in the matches then the rest of the team. This korfball attitude was leading for his successful korfball career. Mark – in basic korfball skills even better than Wim - did not have this 100% korfball drive. His behaviour was: “There are more interesting things in life than only korfball”. There is nothing wrong about this behaviour, but with this attitude a korfball player will not become the best player in the world. Wim achieved his korfball goals not because of his parents who were pushing him everyday, but by hard working and great motivation and talent. Parents should stimulate their children by showing interest in what children do at the club or at school. When parents push too hard and too much then children lose motivation and at the end they stop playing in any kind of sport.


As far as we know you are engaged a lot - both with Polish and Dutch korfball. How would you describe the difference between them?
The biggest difference between Dutch and Polish korfball is the number of players. In any sport there will be no quality without quantity. That means that Poland needs more korfball players. In Holland there are about 100.000 korfball players and in Poland …???  Not enough to make big steps in international ranking.


So what are our possibilities in order to world korfball ranking? And how long it can take to achieve such progress?
Polish seniors team has to realise that The World Games tournament in Wroclaw will be very important for promotion of the sport in Poland. Promotion will be more important than results. This tournament can give korfball sport a boost for the future. For the long term development the focus of Polish korfball should be on youth National teams -13, -15, -17 and -19. Bring this teams to international tournaments like World Championship -17 in Schijndel and Junior World Cup -19 in Leeuwarden. Both tournaments are organised every year in Holland. The Visegrad countries: Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and Poland start making plans for yearly 4 international tournaments for senior and/or national youth teams. Make sure, that Polish national youth teams can participate, because more international matches means more experience, more development and better results in the future. Make plans for 4 years and if any club or coach needs help, just ask Dutch korfball Federation. They are willing to help with trainers – coaches – courses and also they can sent Dutch national youth teams to Poland. Ask Polish national senior coach Roelof Koopmans. There are a lot of people in Holland who are interested in Polish korfball, but ask them for any kind of help.


When and where have you been in Poland for the first time? Was it an aim to learn our korfballists or visited for holidays?
My first visit to Poland was in Legnica in 1994. We – 2 colleagues and I – did a 5 days IKF level 1 course for teachers of physical education. We had a very good time, but it was a pity that my colleague's car was stolen. I think that Adam Juniszewski -the organiser of the course in Legnica – is still looking for this car. After this first contact I visited Poland during the next 20 years many times: 46 x till this moment (2 visits by car and the rest by plane). I can divide my korfball career in Poland in two parts: the first period was from ‘96 – ‘99 as Polish senior coach. It was a super time with great players who worked very hard on trainings, so they developed very quickly; all players from that team I will always remember
1. The qualification tournament for the European Championship in Wolvega (first international Polish korfball success)
2. A match in Ermelo against Catalonia for World Championship qualification in Australia ´99. After golden goal from Darek Lewczuk we won.
The second part of my career in Poland - 2012 till now- I train youth teams together with head coach Waldek Pietrzak. Highlights of this period are E.C -21in 2014 and W.C -23 in 2016 in Olomouc.


Are there some the most important things that we should do to develop korfball in our country?
For the long term development of korfball in Poland you need a plan for the next 4 or 5 years. Number one on this list should be: more korfball players in Poland: 5000 korfball players in 5 years. That means more trainers/coaches/referees/courses/volunteers etc. It is not easy to realise, but each process has to start with a plan and a program. Everything is possible if people believe in this process and really want it. No long term plan means no future for korfball in Poland. Look what is happening in Kolo: many, many korfball players in all ages from 6 till 19 years old, all teams 3 x trainings a week, good trainer, great support from parents, from the mayor and lot’s of volunteers. Korfball in Kolo is a success story. I don’t believe that Kolo is the only place in the whole country where korfball can be successful. In every town it’s simple for a PE teacher to start in primary school a league with 4 korfball and senior korfball players can help to coach the starting trainers. This small example can be the first step for a great future.

Interview with: Jantinus Scholtmeijer
By: Adrian Szywała and Michał Odoliński
Editor: Tamara Siemieniuk

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