You’re probably busy enough just passing all your classes, but there are UvA students scoring goals at World Cups. Need some inspiration? Noor de Baat is full of it. De Baat is a midfielder of the national Dutch hockey team U21 that is currently playing a World Cup in South Africa. The team just made it to the quarter-finals! De Baat normally has four of five training sessions per week, next to two strength training sessions. On top of that, she is doing her bachelor’s. Want to know how she managed to juggle all those balls? Keep on reading.
‘Some classmates know I’m going to the World Cup, others just know I play a lot of hockey’, she shares. ‘The ones who are aware are very excited though.’ Combining studies with sports is doable, shares the midfielder. ‘The teachers at UvA are all quite helpful, but it’s still hard work. I’ve learned to plan quite well because of hockey. Up until now, I passed all classes I took. After I quit playing field hockey, I want to have a career related to information sciences, but first I want to go to the Olympics in Tokyo in 2024’, Noor tells us less than a week before she left for the World Cup U21.
On April first, that World Cup took off. It is the last time De Baat will be participating in a World Cup U21, after that she will be too old. However, because of the pandemic, the tournament was cancelled last year. ‘We heard about that three days in advance’, says De Baat. For a while, it seemed like the Dutch selection also wouldn’t be going to the rescheduled tournament in 2022. It wouldn’t fit in the Dutch competition schedule unless the Fédération Internationale de Hockey (FIH) made some changes. The FIH refused. It wasn’t until several countries announced that they wouldn’t participate, if the Netherlands couldn’t, that the FIH accepted the proposed changes. De Baat: ‘I won’t believe it’s actually happening until I’m on the plane.’
Well, it’s happening. The Netherlands already faced the United States, Canada and Zimbabwe. They won all three matches, with De Baat even scoring against the U.S. De Baat probably won’t be surprised by this: ‘I think we are the favourites. We have a lot of speed in the team and we have very technical players. We also have defenders that can be threatening with their long balls. Though we haven’t been able to play international matches for a while now, especially not outside of Europe, so it’s tough to know how good other teams are. Argentina is very good, they usually are. The Argentinians have had longer to prepare as well. I play a very important match with my club on Sunday and leave for the tournament on Monday.’
Jong Oranje plays the quarter-final of the World Cup on the eighth of April. You can watch the tournament here. Who knows, you might see De Baat score a goal.