In the series This week in… we look back at historical events or important news items in Drenthe. This time: supporters of korfball club DOS’46 milking extra on March 20, 1982 asked the cows to see their club become national champion for the first time later that day.
The innkeeper of the renowned café Oosting in Nijeveen, Jan Oosting, couldn’t get enough of it. A day after the Nijeveen revelry, the manager played the tape recording of the radio report of the final almost incessantly. Teasing remarks from regulars didn’t get through to him that day.
Unperturbed, Oosting looked around his establishment again, which was full of red and black flags, the club colors of Door Exercise Strong. He thought it was fantastic “what our boys and girls have achieved,” he told it Newspaper of the North .
Farmer bus to Arnhem
So it was not nothing. On March 20, 1982, DOS’46 from Nijeveen, then not yet the korfball stronghold it is today, was crowned indoor champion of the Netherlands. And not only that: in a packed hall in Arnhem, the Nijeveen friends team broke through the hegemony of Western korfball clubs, which until then ruled the highest korfball level in the Netherlands. No northern team has ever managed to seriously compete for the marbles.
In Arnhem, not only the game of the Nijeveners stood out. The ‘farmer’s bus’, called the ‘milk bus’ by some, also attracted attention. In those years Nijeveen was a dot on the map, a dairy village full of dairy farmers. These farmers could not just leave without milking the cows first. That is why on the final day – in addition to the twelve ‘ordinary’ buses – a special milk bus was arranged for livestock supporters, so that they too could see the competition in time after the second daily milking session.
‘It was startling’
Reporters from national newspapers once looked their eyes. ‘The farmer’s bus’, wrote the newspaper The Free People , ‘was packed with strong supporters, who came right out from under the cows.’ And this milk churn, so did de Volkskrant a penny in the pocket, ‘looked more like an overflowing beer mug on the way back’. Arend Waaijer, reporter of the Meppeler Courant who has followed the club closely for fifty years, was in Arnhem that day and remembers all those stunned faces. “It was startling.”
Beforehand, he had little faith in a victory, but the village team turned out to be a very strong and close-knit collective, he says. „DOS’46 was unyielding and had good marksmen. It was a collective championship. DOS still has to rely on that.”
The team consisted largely of boys and girls from Nijeveen, such as the sisters Alie and Janny Sok, Albert and Hennie Lucas, Nico Buiten, Gerjan Smit and Herman van Gunst. But under coach Harry Dassen, who approached things more and more professionally, players from outside were also integrated into the team. “They really added something,” says Waaijer.
Friendships for life
Former player Gerjan Smit (68) cherishes warm memories of that time. “We were really friends. We often went for Chinese food at Albert Lucas’ house after a game. Then Studio Sport turned on, people drank and we discussed the match.” But even after their korfball careers, the players continued to see each other. “We camped for years with the team from then. Then we went to a tournament near Almelo around Pentecost.” Smith laughs. “Often we won it too.”
For coach Harry Dassen (74), the championship in 1982 was the prelude to a glorious career, including as national coach of the Dutch team. „DOS’46 remains a special club for me. I still remember that the whole village was standing along the road when we got back to Nijeveen around midnight. That time was unforgettable. Everything came together.”
Dassen made friends for life at DOS’46. “With our DOS club we went skiing every year and we held endless Risk evenings. Last year we celebrated our 40th anniversary in the Algarve,” says Dassen.
‘DNA of this club’
The hall championship of March 20, 1982 is still a benchmark in the long history of DOS’46. “That performance increased the attraction for top players to play korfball here,” says club president Haralt Lucas, son of former player Albert Lucas.
Slowly but surely DOS’46 professionalized into the korfball stronghold it is today. What never changed is the atmosphere within the club. The fanatical supporters, the village character, the closeness of the association. “That is the DNA of this club,” concludes Lucas.