Intensely popular in Ireland, unknown abroad

New sports in Maastricht: E-sports and hurling


“Do you want to play Mario Kart?” Perhaps not the first question you expect during the Sports Event of the Inkom, Wednesday at De Griend. But E-sports (competitive playing of computer games) are becoming more popular and serious every year and since a few weeks the student sports life in Maastricht has a new addition: MSEA Peritan.

You can decide for yourself how competitive you want to be, says chairman Bart Thomas. “We want to compete with a team against other Dutch universities and, if we win, also against other European universities. But you can also just come and play a game.” It doesn't matter which game, once you've found people who want to join, you can start. “I personally prefer to play League of Legends.” The association does not yet have a space. “That will depend on the number of members we get and our budget. Fortunately, a lot is also possible online,” says Thomas.

MSEA Peritan is not the only association behind the 'new associations' booth. Although, new? The Maastricht Gaels have been around for fifteen years. “But we only joined UM Sports this year,” says member and Science Program student Dhruv Pandij. The Gaels play Gaelic sports such as hurling and Gaelic Football; intensely popular in Ireland, virtually unknown abroad.

“We mainly have Irish members, who enjoy getting to know compatriots in Maastricht. But in recent years more and more students have been added,” says Pandij. “It is also a social sport; afterwards we often go for a drink.” Behind him, a few students try out hurling. With a hurley (a kind of short hockey stick) they keep a ball high. “There are goal posts on the field, if you play in the net at the bottom you get three points, if you play between the posts above the net you get one point.”

On the rest of the grounds, the freshmen try out more familiar sports such as rowing, tennis and volleyball. A major crowd puller is the Zumba class of UM Sports. Together, about fifty students slowly lower themselves to the floor to the rhythm of the music. The only one who doesn't like it is the dog of the UM Cheerleaders. Loudly barking, he voices his opinion, until he is distracted by a pat on the head.

Author: Cleo Freriks

Photo's: Joey Roberts

Tags: Inkom2021,sportsevent,esports,hurling,students

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