KCZ Korfball Clinic and Match Day

When Kees Verhoeven, Head Coach of the Irish National team, travels all the way to Switzerland for a training, you can be sure it is going to be a good one. As part of a Korfball clinic, he taught our players everything from how to improve our passing and shooting to game tactics and further Korfball tips and tricks. Kees, who is also a former coach of several youth teams in the biggest club of The Netherlands, PKC, was able to help us a great deal. With his encouraging attitude and great sense of humour, he taught and entertained us the entire afternoon. Not only KCZ players, also players from Basel and Bern were present, and it was simultaneously also a great exchange between clubs. Kees did not only have great advice for new players, but also for the more experienced ones. After the strenuous training, we enjoyed a well-deserved dinner at Frau Gerold's Garten. We'd like to thank Kees again for his brilliant Clinic and Louise and Lieke for the organisation!

The following day, we had a match day, where Basel, Zurich and one delegate from Lausanne met for some friendly matches. We could put the theory from Kees right into practice and get some further Korfball advice from him. After several mixed games, we had a final battle: boys against girls. Both teams put up a great fight to a 5-5 score. The match was then won by the girls in a penalty shootout.

KCZ and Friends

The 2021 edition of our traditional tournament KCZ and Friends brought together lots of players: new, experienced, some playing together for years, others playing together for the first time as a scratch team for the occasion. Several Swiss teams were present, the Welsh and Germans formed a team, and an entire delegation came from the Netherlands, all hoping to win the coveted trophy.

KCZ and Friends does not only guarantee great Korfball games, but also friendly exchange with old and new KCZ friends. We were very happy to welcome several former players including their children at the side of the field. After everyone had played against each other, the tournament ended with a nail-biting final between Lausanne/Bern and the Tukkers from the Netherlands. A win for the Tukkers meant they didn't go home empty-handed, congratulations!

A wonderful tournament, thank you to the organiser, Luzia, and participants for a successful event. We can't wait for next year!

European Korfball Championship (EKC)

We are very proud of the Swiss national team, which has - for the first time - qualified for the European Korfball Championships! During the qualification games in Ukraine, which took place in autumn 2019, some of our Zurich players contributed to the fantastic achievement of the Swiss team.

We are thrilled that after the tournament was postponed in 2020, it will now take place between 4th and 9th October 2021 in Wroclaw, Poland. Participating in such an international tournament means that we need quite a bit of money. Not only for flights, accommodation, food and tournament fees, but also for a new set of t-shirts, hall rentals and preparation training costs. In order to send our team to Poland, we successfully accomplished this crowdsourcing. We could raise enough money to pay for preparation trainings and minimise the amount our players pay themselves. This contribution not only helped out the Swiss National team and our Zurich representatives, we also supported a team sport that embodies diversity and gender equality. Our team consists of players from various different backgrounds, and as the only mixed-gender team sports, we stand for gender equality.

Thank you very much for your help!

KCZ Summer Weekend 2021

Hike, play korfball, sleep, repeat! You all know our usual summer weekend procedure, but yet, every year is a little different. This year, we started a bit later and met in Sarnen on Saturday for many rounds of Korfball. Having 8 members meant proper 4 v 4 games. We played until it started to rain. Due to the excessive korfball playing and consequential sweating, we didn’t shy away from a rainy swim in the lake.

All freshened up, we arrived at the hut in Langis, where we started preparations for our barbecue dinner. A social evening was ahead of us, with games, drinks, food and many laughs.
On the next day, we initially planned a long hike. As the weather conditions were not good enough, we cancelled the plans but got up early anyway for a shorter hike. All geared up, we made our way to Jänzi. We even carried a korfball along with us.
Our highlight were probably the very friendly goats which welcomed us excitedly on their pasture and even followed us for quite a bit up the hill.

Overall, we can look back on a successful weekend in the Swiss mountains, sadly not with perfect conditions this time, but definitely with a great time amongst friends.

“In my head”, story of the Alp League 2021 by a newcomer

On 26th June, we played in the Alp League, the Swiss national championships. In order to give you an impression of the day, one of our newest members Grägi has summarised his experience in form of a story.

Awesome! It’s the 26th of June, day of the Alp League, and I wake up on time. Thanks to my two alarm clocks, I have no worry of oversleeping. I take a quick shower and I have a long breakfast. I do not need to pack my stuff, as it is already done, so now I can stroll to Zurich main station. As planned, I am on time at our meeting point, and all the other teammates too. The train is rolling, and I think: let the adventure begin! But the trip will be long and I am a bit sleepy, so I am having a siesta first.
After a while, I join the discussion. Since it is my first official game, I am also being tested on the rules by the coach. What conditions are necessary to consider a shot defended? More time passes, and I will not elaborate on the black and white cows grazing on grass as well as the grapevine basking in the warm sun, the train journey goes too quickly for that.

We arrive on time in Lausanne carrying the winner’s cup from the previous Alp League. There is good news, as a result of the coin toss, we rest for the first game. We can thus spy on our opponents, Basel and Lausanne. The first one has several tall and fast players, while the latter has an energetic coach. But there is also bad news, during the warmup I notice that my shoes are slightly too small for my feet. It is going to be painful. Painful start to the tournament for us too, as we lose the first game against Basel, albeit it was close. I did a few position mistakes, but my passes were ok, and I even had a chance to score. Our coach motivates us and suggests simple improvements, the watchword for next game is simple: play tighter to the Korf. And it works marvellously as we win against Lausanne!

Now we have a break before the next games. Like in the morning, we rest for the first game. We can observe Basel and Lausanne play. Unbeaten Basel wins and now it is our turn to play against Lausanne. We need to play even better than before; for that, our coach gives us the following watchword: clean passes. And the victory is clearly ours again. But there is no time to celebrate as the last game of the tournament against Basel is about to start. It will be a hard and tense game as it will decide the Swiss champion. If the other team wins or if there is a draw, they will have had an almost clear round today and be champion. If our team wins, we should be Swiss champion thanks to the goal difference. The game starts. It is as expected a very intense game and both teams have many opportunities to score. Still, it is a draw after 10 minutes. So, for the last half time, we focus on our main asset, pass to the female Dutch sharpshooters of our division: Louise and Janita.

And they did it, Zürich did it, we won! The victory is clear, and it was for sure the best game of the tournament. I can remove my shoes, and fully enjoy the sunny afternoon. We all move to the lake, where there is the official award ceremony. We are all together: people from the three teams as well as the enthusiastic referee. And we are celebrating korfball by drinking a beer, chatting and sunbathing together. And in harmony with the atmosphere, some pizza for dinner. But in the end, we cannot stay too late as the trip home is still long for us. We continue celebrating on our way home, during the walk, in the train, at the station. Now I go home. We are Swiss champions. Awesome!

KCZ's 2020 – A Korfbination of Madness and Success

Winter

2020 started off with things still very normal for us, when some of us travelled to Edinburgh to represent Swiss Korfball at the Edinburgh tournament. We had a great time!
We also went to a pub quiz in Kennedy's pub in January, little tip for the future: always bring Rob, he knows eeeeverything!
In January, we also had our legendary winter weekend, ate some raclette, built some snowmen and had president Gian Reto tackle them. And finally end of February, we held the first official Swiss Korfball match day in Zurich.
What a lovely winter/spring it was, with 16 trainings and 8 people attending on average. But then...

Spring

Everyone loves spring, except for spring 2020. You know why, no need to say the c-word. No, not that one, the other c-word, ending in -19 ;). In spring, we had to stop trainings, but luckily, our ever-creative Jet organised several online-trainings and a special training for our 2nd birthday on April 4th. Various online quizzes and digital meet ups helped us to get through the months and to keep up the KCZ team spirit.

Summer

Oh look, numbers are down, no second wave in sight, we’ve won the fight!
The seemingly good summer with low numbers meant that we could train again, and also travel to Lausanne for games and BBQ at the lake, how lovely it was!
Followed by the match day in Basel and Zurich, where we could play actual games. Seems very odd, looking back now! Also, we were able to go on our summer weekend, which was just the distraction and normality we all needed. And fearing our dear Louisa might leave soon, we had a brilliant after-training-social in Prime Tower with lovely views over the city. On top of that, Louisa even stayed a bit longer :).

Autumn

The ASVZ sports week in September was probably the last event where everything went according to plan and the c* virus did not intervene.
Happy too early, said the second wave. Surging numbers meant only restricted trainings, and they also cost Basel’s Renate some nerves, when she tried to organise the coaching course in October. After Leon Simmons was not allowed to enter Switzerland anymore, Renate found a great alternative and we could practice our coaching and playing skills over a weekend.
Besides the great coaching weekend, Melina also invited us to a fun board game night, and during training breaks, we visited a training in Basel and vice versa.

Winter

With the numbers not improving much, we had to restrict our trainings to only few people from October onwards and wear masks at all times. December 10th was our very last training of the year, as sports were no longer allowed. We thank all our members for supporting our club, even during the hardest times. We had an average of 5.25 players during the corona trainings, which is pretty amazing! We are hopeful that we will have trainings again soon and that all our members stay happy and healthy!

2020 Highlights

Besides all the Korfball achievements of 2020, we’d like to point out a few more from the lives of our members.
2020 brought us two new KCZ newcomers, Mirjam’s daughter Emma Marie Leana Faye and Paul’s daughter Maris Rosalin. We wish the two happy families all the best for 2021!
In October 2020, Rob and Anne tied the knot, congratulations to Mr. and Mrs Sayers!
In November, we awarded Louisa the honorary member’s certificate, for being generally awesome, fun, and for having done so incredibly much for our club, three cheers to Louisa!
Despite the difficulties, we also gained new members in 2020, we’re very happy to have Janita, Louise, Nanni, Patrick and Marc who joined us in 2020, which makes a total of 23 members (including our two honorary members Jet and Louisa).

So despite all the restrictions, we have managed to spend a lot of time with our club and our Korfball friends. We’d like to thank all of you for your help and support and we are really proud to be part of KCZ.

We wish you all the best for 2021 and hope to see you soon!

Gian Reto, Luzia, Rob, Paul, Fabienne
KCZ Committee

ASVZ Sports Week

We had the opportunity to take part In the ASVZ Sports week in September. At the beginning of the semester, the Academic Sports Association always offers a lot of activities and introduces the students to new sports, and korfball was one of them.

In order to motivate as many students as possible to join our training, we started a small advertising campaign. We put up a korf near the University of Irchel and organised a throwing competition. The prizes: Muffins from Aryzta and sesame bars from Gebana. The tall, yellow korf caused a sensation, and the delicious prizes also attracted many students. We distributed over 250 prizes and flyers!

The campaign was effective and we welcomed a good number of students to the training. They were full of expectations and stared at 3.50 m Korf in awe. “It’s so high,” some of them said. After overcoming the initial shock, our coach Louise introduced the newcomers to the sport. Everyone practiced passing and throwing until we soon played the first game with simplified rules. While we could already spot some Korfball talents among the crowd, what struck us most were the broad grins on everyone’s faces. Although the sport was new for all participants, everyone had fun and scored many goals. We had fun and appreciated the enthusiasm of the participants. We hope to see them again soon in one of our trainings.

KCZ Summer Weekend 2020

With the biggest crew we’ve had so far, we started into yet another summer weekend in Langis. We hiked from Glaubenbielen to Langis, where we would stay the night. Our mountain guide and hut owner Luzia took us on a picturesque path over fields, mountain ridges and down some slippery slopes. Our former coach Jet, who came all the way from Japan, entertained us with some quirky Japan stories, Eve told us everything about Indonesia and Australia, our president Gian Reto led the way and photographer Silvie caught the best moments on camera.

After reaching the hut, the juicy meat and smoked vegetables from the grill felt like a blessing. We got more company from late-joiners Massimo (thanks for the grilling!), Afke and Anouk, and spent a fun evening with card games, wine and many laughs. We enjoyed team bonding at its best with Marc imitating a seahorse in the best way possible, Fabienne getting overwhelmed by having two hands at a clapping game and Rob confusing a Full English Breakfast with a kiss.

On Sunday, Luzia served us a lovely breakfast and Louisa added some fresh croissants. Despite the bad forecast, the weather decided to stay sunny and quite warm, so we played some mountain Korfball with amazing views. Janita and Melina scored many goals, and we all had a blast. To cool down, we went to Lake Sarnen, where we were joined by our latest member Aleks. We had a swim – and played some more Korfball. Here’s to another great summer weekend!

Lake Day in Lausanne

After months of not meeting the other Swiss korfball teams, we enjoyed a sunny afternoon of Korfball by the lake in Lausanne. We started with some great (but exhausting) 4v4 games mixed with the other Swiss clubs. After we'd all got our breath back, we moved onto a full 8v8 game which was eventually won by Lausanne. We finished off the Korfball side of the day with a shooting competition which was won for KCZ by our new player Marc who also came home with the best new player of the day trophy.

After our games there was much swimming in the lake, good food, drinks and catch-up with the other clubs. We had a great day and thanks very much to Lausanne for hosting.

KCZ Winter Weekend 2020

After going viral last year with our Snow Korfball photos, we decided to spend another weekend in Luzia’s mountain hut in Langis – for some snow korfball and fun, not just the pictures, of course. Luckily, the sun was shining, and we could play some snow korfball in just t-shirts. While there was not as much snow as last year, we still managed to build our newest KCZ member, Mr. Snowman.

In a very Swiss manner, we had a lovely raclette for dinner and played board games in the evening. Attempting to capture the sunrise, some of us got up very early, but sadly the clouds decided to cover the sun. Nevertheless, the start into the day succeeded with some tasty traditional Zopf and Birchermüsli for breakfast. The team bonding was successful, and we had yet another great snow weekend with many laughs!

KCZ & Friends 2019

KCZ and Friends is our traditional tournament – born last year – where we invite clubs from near and far to compete in a fun competition. This one was our second edition, and we were able to welcome more clubs than last year! With Korfball Supernova from London, we have found a loyal friend, who undertook the journey from London to Zurich for the second time already.

Moreover, our friends from Korfball Basel joined with a strong team, and we had a fourth team comprising the clubs of Lausanne and Bern, with some additional friends from Scotland and Bristol. This year, we even had a visit from Kevin Allen from the International Korfball Federation, who gave some of our players an introduction into coaching and refereeing and showed the support from the IKF for Korfball in Switzerland. A lovely international mix of teams!

The tournament was structured into a group phase and a final phase. In the group phase, each team played each other team once, which led to a first ranking. The final phase then decided the winner, and showed that still everything was possible: Supernova were able to win the tournament and the team of Lausanne/Bern who came last in the group phase was able to turn the tables and come second. It was an exciting day with a lot of game experience for all teams.

One of the highlights for everyone was the dinner we all had together, followed by a visit to the Zurich Christmas marked, where we all indulged in mulled wine and hot chocolates. Thanks to Supernova, Korfball Club Basel, Kevin and all other visitors for a successful tournament!

KCZ Summer Weekend 2019

What happens if you mix Dutch, British and Swiss people and tell them to spend a weekend? I can tell you: mountains, hiking, korfball, bbq, drinks, cake, tea, swimming, games, star gazing and lots and lots of fun.

After last year’s somewhat rainy summer weekend meant we were mostly confined to the hut, we were delighted to be luckier with the weather this year: perfect conditions for a hike, not too hot a little cloudy but also sunny. We started early in the morning in Langis and set off towards our goal: the Feuerstein. Hearing of the planned 5.5h hike with more than 500m ascent almost scared off the flat country / Dutch among us, but as soon as we switched from the road to the hiking trail, it became clear that the Dutch women among us were perfectly at home climbing mountains. After a short but steep climb we reached the ridge and were rewarded with a wonderful view. When we reached the summit, we took the opportunity to record our ascent in the summit book and then gave ourselves a lunch break. The 600m descent along the ridge via Rickhubel led us through various landscapes and made us forget the everyday urban life of Zurich. Back in the Langis we enjoyed a well-deserved cool drink and with alphorn sounds from the slope next door, it couldn't have been more traditional Swiss.

We relocated our relaxation session to the hut and raised our legs a bit, with the exception of a few busy bees who were chopping wood and lighting fires, ensuring we had a great BBQ to refuel after the day’s hard work. In fact we had so much food, we probably could have fed a dozen more! A peaceful evening of chat, games and star gazing rounded off the day perfectly.

The next day went just as smoothly, if a little more chilled out. Breakfast outside in the sun with homemade Zopf, and then of course, we couldn't resist shooting a few korfs. Fortunately, there is a more or less flat area on a mountain where a dedicated group can play korfball, as long as you don’t stray too close to the edge! After a short detour to Honegg to enjoy the view, we moved the party back to the valley and ended the weekend at the lake in Sarnen with a swim and ice cream.

We're eagerly looking forward to next time!

KCZ turns one!

Time flies! We have only just celebrated signing the statutes and becoming a club, and now we celebrate the club's first birthday already. A lot has happened over the last year, we set up regular trainings, a committee, we have been to our first tournaments in and outside of Switzerland, we are regularly visiting Swiss Korfball trainings, we had many socials, including the legendary winter weekend and we have acquired a total of 20 members!

To celebrate the club achievements, we held a special anniversary training, followed by birthday cake and anniversary drinks. While our lovely Jet carefully planned a fun training session, the committee arranged it to be interrupted after every exercise in order to reward someone for their special achievements. Shoutout to all our award winners:

And last but not least, best Swiss Korfball club: Korfball Club Zurich. Our friends from Lausanne and Basel are welcome to challenge us. We are proud of the achievements of the last year and are very much looking forward to what the future brings. Happy birthday KCZ!

KCZ Winter Weekend 2019

At the kind invitation of Luzia, a few members of KCZ (and wider Swiss Korfball players) spent an incredible weekend in Luzia's family's mountain hut, and held the first KCZ snow training session! We got plenty of curious looks and questions from passers-by as we tried to adjust to shooting whilst on unstable snow, diving after rouge balls that threatened to escape down the mountain, and mastered a new kind of korfball shot, the sledging-in shot!

Of course, it wouldn't be a Swiss mountain hut experience without some raclette and board games in the evening, and the weekend was made even more magical by star-gazing at night and then getting up for the sunrise the next morning.

A huge thank you goes to Luzia and her family for organising the weekend and accommodating us, and we're all very excited to go back in half a year for the summer weekend!

KCZ & Friends: the first korfball tournament in Switzerland

Since the launch of the Korfball Club Zurich on the 4th of April 2018, it was just a matter of time before the first matches would take place. With players having korfball friends across the whole of Europe, we decided the best idea was to organise our own tournament with international competitors.

And so, on Saturday 29th of September, all club members came together, a unique moment which enabled us to field not just one but two teams: Zurich Serious & Zurich Fun. Our competitors, Supernova Korfball club, flew in from London. We also formed a mixed scratch team in which we all played together, for added fun and game time.

The first match was immediately an important one. Stuart had the great opportunity to beat his former teammates. So the target was clear: Win, regardless of how. The match was played in a killer pace. Before the spectators opened their eyes, the score was already 2-2. Then, Zurich Serious took the lead, showing extreme sharpness in shooting and allowing us to record the first club match ever in the books as a win of 12-5.

The Zurich Fun team had serious fun. All played to the best of their capabilities, with some playing their first match ever with a big smile on their face. The team also made really cool goals with quick running in moves, short shots, as well as long distance shots. It was wonderful to see the level of play improve from everyone throughout the day.

As the last match rolled around, Supernova and Zurich Serious were in the top two positions, resulting in a great final game. Having already played a full day, maintaining a strong focus was important for us, as well as a strong mentality to not give in to the tiredness of the body. Given the unique opportunity to win our own tournament, all players were fully ready to beat Supernova another time.

The match started with some nerves. Some shots were taken too quick, which enabled Supernova to keep up the required level. It was exactly at that time, that Geoff finally found his long distance shot. After several matches of trying, now the results showed off. With two shots in a row he put Zurich in a good position. The other four took over and it was done. Louisa found her easy position to shoot behind the post and Duncan was as usual everywhere in the field to collect balls.

Half-time and it was already 8-3 to us, so we could enjoy the second half. Jet and Afke were both in the running for the top scorer position. However, both preferred to see other players attempting to make their first goal. And so it happened. Gian Reto used his super speed to surprise his opponent and scored. Anouk put several shots up, cool as usual, and in the surprising moments that she did not make it, our rebound was extremely well organised by Kristian. All came together as a team, resulting in a clear win for KC Zurich and placing us as the first winners ever of a korfball tournament organised in Switzerland.

A huge thanks to Cat and Stu who put in a lot of organisation for the day, and to our guests who travelled to join us in this special moment. We can all look back to a great day with fair play, a lot of fun and some top results.

A new tradition is born.