Photographer:Fotograaf: Loraine Bodewes
MAASTRICHT. A trophy hung with black and white ribbons stands amongst sliced sandwich buns and a drone in the ‘Board Only’ room at the Sporthal Geusselt on the East side of the Maas on Friday 15 April. It is here that business students from all over Europe shed the confines of button-up shirts for jerseys and/or pompoms in Maastricht for the three-day Royals Cup.
In its second edition, the tournament welcomed teams from 12 European universities. The majority of the participating teams arrived from Germany, some from the Netherlands, and one from Italy and Switzerland respectively. The teams compete in an array of sports, and have the opportunity to build connections at the concurrent company fair, where employers such as Adidas and Lindt were present this year. In the end, the team with the “best spirit” wins the freshly polished cup
“Above all, I think the Royals Cup is about meeting new people, and crossing borders to overcome prejudices,” says board member Bernhard Luftschitz. But is that overhanging ideal transferred to the participants? Christian Dresen, from Fontys Venlo, attested the prevalence of said sentiment; “The chance to connect with people from all over Europe is what attracted me, personally.” Similarly, Frankfurt School of Finance & Management student Hans Dietrich went so far as to call the matches going on as secondary; “that is not to say that we go easy on each other, though.”
The near dichotomy between competitiveness and enthusiasm for building connections could be felt beyond the pitch. Hence, while two teams took matters to the bar (at lunchtime), others could be found spooning on a mattress -sound asleep- by the bleachers, while bass-heavy music accompanied the cheers of hundreds of students in the hall.