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Young Dutch athletes took part in Burlington Games

Twinning with Apeldoorn planned for May

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

BURLINGTON, Ontario - Members of a number of junior sports teams from the Dutch city of Apeldoorn for the first time recently competed in the periodic Burlington International Games (for teams from cities with friendship ties). The Canadian city and Apeldoorn have long-standing ties of friendship. A twinning agreement could be signed in May 2005, when the Dutch community again will be host to Canadian veterans and other visitors, this time for the 60th annivery celebrations of the Liberation.

The Dutch contingent was made up of soccer players, both male and female, and a mixed volleybal team. Apeldoorn clubs include the AGOVV pro soccer club and the Piet Zoomers Honour Division semi-pro volleybal club. All participants received a commemorative trophy.

While sports in the Netherlands is organized along club lines, from pro teams to such minor teams as with grade one students, competition in North America largely is organised by (high) schools, colleges and universities. This limits the number of teams per sport per school and does not offer minor players an option to participate.

The Dutch participants for the Burlington International Games during the official part nearly all stayed with host families, giving the youth a first-hand chance as well to experience Canadian culture and life, and practice their language skills. Following the games, they billeted at Royal Canadian Legion facilities arranged by the Canada Netherlands Friendship Association with the help from the local (Dutch Canadian) community.