Sport: Rugby 7’s/15’s
The Dutch Rugby 7’s setup has taken the game by storm for a number of reasons. Whether it’s the professional approach the NOC*NSF (Dutch Olympic Committee*Dutch
Sports Federation) have taken in creating an amazing setup for the team and their professional status; or the rumor that they are the best looking team
on the International circuit; or the fact that they play such exciting Rugby - the Dutch Rugby 7‘s are a team to watch on and off the field.
One of the team, Tessa Veldhuis took time out from her busy schedule to be interviewed straight after getting back from the London Olympics.
Tessa, thank you so much for your time and willingness to be involved with the new magazine.
Of course, no problem, I would like to help.
What does it mean to you to play for your country?
Playing for my country is unique of course! In the Netherlands everyone is very sport-minded, so it’s an honour to represent your country in any specific
sport. Because rugby is an Olympic sport in 2016, it’s becoming more popular in the Netherlands as well. So naturally it’s an unbelievable opportunity.
At what point of each new match do you realise that you are representing your country? E.g. anthem, the run out, putting on the shirt?
Sometimes you forget day-to-day that you are representing you country; you’re working/training hard every day and focusing on the tournaments. But when
I put on my shirt, nice orange coloured, I’m proud of myself and my team representing the Netherlands. It’s something special, not many people can say
What keeps you going and gets you out of bed to train when it’s raining, cold etc.?
Of course you have days when you don’t feel like training, but no doubt you keep going. We’re a team, so you have to work at 200% every day at least for
your teammates. And top sport is hard, so it’s not always fun! But when you have the opportunity to play for your country in a big stadium with thousands
of people, you will forget all the hard-training-days.
If you weren’t playing sevens what would you play instead?
They asked me only two years ago to train for the Sevens selection. Before that I was playing 15-a-side rugby, so I can imagine I would still be playing
Playing another sport is a strange idea, maybe athletics because of my speed? No, rugby is a sport with all kind of talents included, I like that!
Who is your inspiration and why?
To be honest, I’m not really working with an inspiratory (sic)! I’m playing rugby because I love it and working hard for myself and my team. But I do
have a favorite Sevens player at this moment; ‘Frank Halai’. He is a powerful winger, top-try-scorer, of New Zealand. His ability to beat players with
his explosive pace and strength and score in the tightest of situations, have helped to keep New Zealand on the top in the last 2 Sevens Series.
Having seen the Olympics in London firsthand how you do you feel about Rio?
Watching the Olympics is a very good motivation to train even harder! We went to London for a couple of days with the Total Sevens Selection and watched
some sports and it was great! We were all realizing that we have the same opportunity; by keeping working hard we have the chance to challenge for a medal
in 2016! I think it’s the dream of every little kid to play at an Olympic someday, so keep fighting!
We will be meeting up with Tessa and the team in Dubai at the start of the IRB World 7’s Rugby series in December, look out for this in the next issue.