We arrived to Amsterdam on the day before the Tournament, we did some sightseeing, sipped some Heineken (a.k.a. ‘teambuilding’) and had a good nights’ sleep. We had a lot to do on Saturday.
Breakfast: the food was fine, but the atmosphere in the dining lounge was tense, really tense. We were looking at the other teams’ players with that deeply masculine and intentionally intimidating look that lions give each other before a fight one may see on National Geographic. For the record: the other teams’ players have been looking at us the same way. We approached each other, shook hands, had a somewhat less than friendly smile on our faces and we said: “How are you? Nice to see you! Well, good luck today!” But what we really meant was slightly different – in tone and wording alike.
We then took our buses which took us to the Ronald McDonald Centre. The venue is really nice, fully equipped and there was nothing missing for a glorious day. When everyone was standing together during the opening speeches, the sense of togetherness took over (ie. we got connected). We, the RSM DTM Hungary men’s team started the day by supporting our ladies’ team (they won),and then had our first two matches (we lost. Both of them.) In between our matches, I went to check out how the RSM Farrell Grant Sparks team, the defending champions, did. Also, I noticed that the RSM Belgium team is going to play three matches in a row during the afternoon session, and that their third one will be against us. Well, both gave me great pleasure.
This year’s RSM Europe tournament has been brilliantly organized and warm heartedly hosted by Caroline, Denise and a lot of other devoted. And for the record: our ladies’ team came fourth (the boys didn’t).
Do you want highlights? Here are some: the RSM Tenon ladies’ team, led by Princess (the 2012 winners of the ladies’ tournament) supporting and cheering for the RSM DTM Hungary ladies’ team was really nice (these two teams played against each other in the finals in 2010 and 2011),the RSM France teams (there were three) taking advantage of their player pool system was clever, and the RSM Farrell Grant Sparks winning the men’s finals was brilliant. Ah, I almost forgot: chasing that stolen bike in that dark street in Amsterdam was neither nice, nor clever, and it was far, far from brilliant – it was hopeless, immature and instinctual, but it made me feel young and strong again.
A fellow once told me that Amsterdam was no place for a family man. After this year’s RSM Europe football tournament I say it might not be a good place for the lazy and the low, but it’s been definitely the place for the sporting and the jolly in late September. Another RSM community in the making.