Utrecht 60 years ago: Kampong exists 60 years

Kampong lustrum 1937

Photo: UN 25-09-1962

In the triangle formed by the Utrecht Trompstraat, the Ruijterstraat and the Van Gendtstraat, there was a building site at the beginning of the last century, which was frequently used by the boys from the neighborhood for their ball games, usually referred to as ‘wild’ by the elderly. Among those lads there were quite a few who saw the light of day in the Indies. They kept coming back to that triangular field and the somewhat remote neighborhood that soon came to be called ‘the kampong’. And when a real club was founded, it was of course also given the name “Kampong”, the Utrechtsch Nieuwsblad reported on Tuesday September 25, 1962.
One man has ruled Kampong as a ‘tuan besar’ for many years. That was M. Welle, called Tinus by his many friends, who has been a board member of the now sixty-year-old association for almost half a century.

Welle tells the Utrechtsch Nieuwsblad that they invented ‘concentration’ or mental training at Kampong. And he explains in the newspaper how that came about. They had a bad season, about 1907. “We played in the third division and it was bad. Only because Hercules II did not achieve anything at all, we were not at the bottom. Then we had to play at the series matches of Ajax, in which strong teams participated. We then got together and talked to the players about those matches. It wasn’t a concentration like you would nowadays, we almost all smoked stone pipes and were brought home afterwards with a Kamponger playing the violin…, but it was already a precursor of mental training.’
And with effect. In that tournament, Kampong made it to the final as a weak third division player, in which they narrowly lost to the very strong first division team Ajax Leiden. ‘That was undoubtedly a result of that meeting, but of course there was no one who thought that you could strengthen a team while talking…”, according to Mr. Welle.
At that time, there are not so many Utrecht sports fans who remember that Kampong, playing in the second division of the Utrecht department, was once a strong football club. Kampong even became champion of the second division in 1911. It had to play promotional games against VOC The Rotterdammers, however, were victorious.
The first Kampong field was on the Blauwkapelseweg. The ‘dressing room’ was a cellar under the cafe across the road. Behind the billiard table was a hatch. If one pulled this up, then one ended up in a cellar lying below the water level of the river flowing along it. The empty beer barrels were used as benches for the players. “Yes, the beginning was indeed primitive”, says Mr. Welle, “but very pleasant.”
As a football club, Kampong has declined in terms of performance on the field, but as a hockey association, Kampong plays in the highest division in 1962. Hockey is the youngest division of Kampong. Welle: “We have been practicing that sport since 1935, but we talked about it for a long time before we decided to do it.”

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