• Pieter Tolsma

Henk Knoop passed away

Henk Knoop and the balls When, as a sixteen-year-old, I gave up (in 1956) as a member of the AAC rugby division of the Amsterdamsche Athletiek Club member, Henk had been around since 1951. Henk felt at home on the athletics track like a rabbit in a greengrocer's with all those green leaves from the ladies athletics clubs ADA and Sagitta. But it soon became apparent that he would not break any Dutch or world records in athletics and Henk switched to the rugby department of AAC where he found it more pleasant and fun and could also drink a beer after training or match.


And as it goes within AAC, he became a member of the AAC Rugby Commission and his job was to manage the three rugby balls and the gore jutte rugby ball bag. The 3 balls were the gold of AAC-Rugby, that's all we had. (Shirts, trousers and stockings, tracksuits, etc. had to be bought and washed themselves. Nothing free !, pay for everything yourself.)

These leather balls had to be pumped up every week to the correct feeling of tension. The balls all had a lace under which a valve was located for inflating the ball. First the lace had to be loosened, after which the special hand pump could start work to bring the ball to the correct tension (by feeling). Then the valve had to be tied back tightly with a string to prevent air from escaping. After this, the basting could start with a special basting needle. Also, it was necessary to soak the leather balls with leather grease to prevent them from drying out. Since Henk hated dirty and unpleasant work, he had outsourced that part of his work to his father. He has done that job to everyone's satisfaction for years.


Henk Knoop on the Rugbyveld There were no clubhouses. The training and competition took place at the Sportpark Olympiaplein in Amsterdam and surroundings. Changing clothes had to be done in a filthy barrack with a shower room where you could not get out without athlete's foot. Henk always played number 15 fullback. Could be a good kick. And there was nothing to criticize or criticize about his handling of the ball. He started the games in snow-white pants and ended in snow-white pants. For years I have watched him with amazement and incomprehension and wondered how he did this. His rugby career was 1 st team from 1957 and finished in the 2 nd team in 1966. Won with AAC the van Broekhuizen cup in 1961 and 1964 and the Bechet cup in 1961 and 1963. As a Rugby-Sevens player he was active from 1959 to 1963.


Henk Knoop as referee First he started as a home whistler at AAC, after which he quickly rose to become the best Rugby referee in the Netherlands. Henk was the 2 nd AAC who was also allowed to whistle Rugby International matches in 1965.


Henk Knoop behind the board tables From editor-TRY in 1957 he rose via the AAC-Cleaning team in 1957 to Coach of AAC-Rugby Youth-Juniors in 1970/1971, after which he worked as a Clubhouse construction employee from 1962 to 1965.


Henk Knoop behind the board of AAC-Atletiek (on behalf of AAC-Rugby) He was there for quite a number of years as Commissioner of Rugby Affairs, from 1982/1991, 1996/1998, 2000/2003.


Henk Knoop behind the board of AAC-Rugby Secretary AAC-Rugby from 1950/1954, Member AAC-Rugby Committee 1957/1958, AAC-Game Secretary 1958/1959, Member AAC-Rugby Committee 1957/1968, Chairman AAC-Rugby- Commission 1982/1991, Chairman AAC Rugby Commission 1996/1998


Henk Knoop and the Amsterdam Sevens From 1971 Henk was already involved in the organization of the Amsterdam Sevens as a referee and the referee organization from 1971/1989.


Henk Knoop behind the board of SRPA (Rugby Promotion Amsterdam Foundation). From 1982/1991 he was a board member on behalf of AAC-Rugby in the SRPA Foundation and from 1996/1998, 1999/2009 he was also in the Referee Sevens organization.


Henk Knoop behind the board of the Dutch Rugby Trainers Association (NRTV) Board member of Trainers' Training 1969/1970.


Henk Knoop behind the board of the Dutch Rugby Referees Association (NVRS) He was a board member from 1968/1970 and chairman from 1979/1981 and 1985 / ?.


Henk Knoop and the Amsterdam Sports Council There he represented AAC-Rugby from 1985/1992.


Henk Knoop and Rugby Nederland (RN) Member of the Control Committee 1966/1967, Member of the Greenhouse Control Committee 1969/1970. NRB Referee 1960 / ?, Trainer to Referee 1968/1970.


Henk Knoop and the Arbitration Disciplinary Committee (ATC) In 1992 to 1994 he started as a member of ATC South. Later in 1994 to 2004 Chairman of ATC-Resort-North-West-Center and later again Member of the ATC of the Multi-Judge from 2001/2004.


Henk Knoop member of the Amsterdam Rugby Society (Club of Hundreds) Henk was co-initiator of the foundation of this Society. The goal was to build our first AAC Clubhouse in 1964.


Conclusion Henk did not always follow the slippery life and marriage path and it was not always '' butter to the tree ''. There is / could not be criticized about his administrative qualities. Few people, including Henk, can say that he or she has provided hundreds of thousands of people with pleasant Saturday afternoons and Sunday afternoons (except for a few, of course!). But considering the above, we can proudly state that Henk Knoop received the Performance pul of Rugby Club Hilversum (RCH) in 1976 and the relid of NSRS, Member of Merit Rugby Netherlands (2003) and Honorary member of AAC-Rugby (2017).

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