Team enjoys day off
The players and staff of the Netherlands Softball Team got a break in the action today (Saturday, March 8), but will return to the field in Sunday.
The team then will the first of two games of the seven scheduled for the upcoming four days.
Today, the team was split into three groups.
One conducted a clinic for youth players, the second one made a dolphin tour and the third visited the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.
But some also went to the beach to enjoy the off-day.
On Sunday, the team plays two games, meeting Cleveland State University and Providence College.
One of the groups conducted a clinic today for students of J.W. Mitchell High School from nearby New Port Richey.
The clinic was done at Trinity College in Trinity, which is also close to Clearwater.
There, the Dutch players instructed the young softball-players of the Mustangs, who enjoyed the day with the international experienced Orange players.
The students also bought Dutch Team t-shirts.
The Dutch players who led the clinic were Virginie Anneveld, Shareday Christina, Merel Oosterveld, Rebecca Soumeru, Nathalie Timmermans, Britt Vonk, Eva Voortman and Ginger de Weert.
Another group made a boat tour today off the coast of Clearwater to watch dolphins.
And they had several encounters with dolphins, resulting in some spectacular photos.
The third group today visited the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.
Joanne Schuler, the wife of Peter Schuler (who is the Logistics Manager again here in Florida for the Dutch Team), works there as a volunteer.
The Aquarium is a non-profit organization dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and release of injured marine animals, public education, animal-assisted therapy and research.
But the Clearwater Marine Aquarium also is the home of Winter, a bottlenose dolphin, who in December 2005 was rescued off the Florida Coast, but lost her tail after becoming entangled with a rope attached to a crab trap and was fitted with a prosthetic one.
The story of Winter inspired Karen Janszen and Noam Dromi to write a book and that led to the movie Dolphin Tale, which was released in the USA on September 21, 2011.
At the box office, it was in third place behind the 3D-release of The Lion King and Moneyball.
The movie, which was shot mostly at Clearwater Marine Aquarium stars Morgan Freeman, Harry Connick Jr., Ashley Judd and Kris Kristofferson and was directed by Charles Martin Smith.
The movie wasn't shown in Dutch cinemas, but was released directly on DVD on February 13, 2012.
The storyline of the movie is that a lonely and friendless boy finds and untangles a hurt dolphin that is caught in a crab trap.
He becomes very attached to the dolphin when the tail must be taken off to save the dolphin's life.
The boy believes the dolphin would be able to swim normally if it was given a prosthetic tail.
Rebecca Soumeru and Ginger de Weert
The Dutch players pose with the young softball-players
(the clinic photos are made by Rebecca Soumeru)
Coach Berend Mannessen with Physical Therapist Lisette Hagen
and Video Analyst Elmy van Tok
Jessie van Aalst, Dagmar Bloeming, Nikki Harte, Video Analyst Elmy van Tok,
Physical Therapist Lisette Hagen, Coach Berend Mannessen and Team Manager Paul Boonstra
During dinner, the players celebrated another 'birthday' today...
And yes, it was that of Head Coach Craig Montvidas