“Hello, do you hear me?” One by one they switch in online, from Denmark and Germany. Jorn, Inger and Kay Smits. To talk about what “always feels very normal, but when you think about it is still quite special”. Their family.
The three are brothers and sister, children of Gino and Cecile. Family name: Smits. With a striking common denominator: all five are or were handball players at the highest level and international of the Dutch team. The combined counter is 265 international – and counting.
The Smitsen are known in Limburg. Mother Cecile, born in Geleen, played 104 international matches for the Orange squad and played at the 1986 World Cup. Father Gino from Roermond played 23, was trainer of several Limburg clubs and national coach of Dutch youth teams.
In Geleen, the physical education teachers started a family with three children. It goes without saying that they were brought up with handball. “But we never pushed them towards handball”, Gino assures. Cecile: “Jorn first played judo, tennis and football. Inger played judo and athletics and Kay was also athletics first.”
Ultimately, the blood crept where it could not go and the three juniors opted for the dynamic team sport. Although when he was 12 years old, Kay still said: “Then I choose handball. What else can I do in this family ?!”
Peanut butter jar tactic
At the dinner table, Gino emphasizes, it was also about other things than handball. But inquiring with the children shows that their father was the most fanatical. Inger: “Then daddy took the peanut butter jar and the sprinkles and explained the tactics.”
The others laugh. Jorn: “When we had finished eating, we were far from finished talking about handball.”
Who inherited what? Father Gino says: “Kay is his mother’s child, Inger has the most traits from me and Jorn is a nice mix.” Mother Cecile adds: “Inger has a fighting mentality, because she used to fight for her place between two brothers. And just by fighting, she reached the top.”
Inger: “It was always two against one at home, Kay and Jorn teased me together. ‘This makes you strong,’ I was told when I complained about it to my parents. They were right.”
The ‘Skay’ is the limit
Jorn was the first to go abroad and opened the eyes of the others, says Gino. “He pursued his dreams and showed Inger and Kay: this is all possible. And for Kay: The ‘Skay’ is the limit. He wants to reach the absolute top and realized early on that he had to do a lot of dirty work for this. must perform. “
Inger: “Well, Kay is a lefthander, eh. They are always lucky.” Kay, laughing: “They call it a gift.”
Inger: “It was not always fun for Kay as the youngest. What I thought was great was that he looked at us and thought: I want that too. His goal has always been to play in the German Bundesliga (one of the strongest leagues). in the world, ed.) He knew he had to take that step by step. And it shows now. “
Because Kay announced his nice transfer to the German top club Magdeburg last week. He will be under contract there next season. Until then he plays with the Danish TTH Holstebro, together with Jorn, who announced on Thursday that he would leave Kras / Volendam immediately. So the construction players handball not only in Orange, but also at the club together.
And they share the house. Kay: Jorn is moving in with me. We still have to talk about the rent …
Inger: “It’s actually my house, isn’t it, guys.” Jorn, laughing: “That’s right! Inger was the first to live here when she was still playing with Holstebro.”
The fact that two of the three are together can already be called special. “I sometimes see Kay at Orange, but otherwise we only see each other at Christmas,” says Jorn.
Until the corona pandemic broke out in the spring of 2020 and the children were suddenly back in the parental home in Geleen. “We suddenly saw each other 24 hours a day for three months. A special period”, says Kay.
Inger: “I expected that the house would be too small, but it went surprisingly well. We are a real games family. We did that a lot. And we had to train. We got strength training equipment and the three of us had a good time in the garden. trained.”
The family experienced one of the best moments on December 15, 2019, the day that Inger became world champion with the Dutch team in Japan. “That felt unreal,” says father Gino proudly. “It was always exciting for her whether she would be with Orange. The red carpet has never been an option for her.”
Her brothers were also overjoyed; both posted a photo of their sister with the World Cup on Instagram. Jorn: “We used to talk about achieving goals: playing in a top foreign competition, making it to the Dutch team. But becoming world champion? That’s not what it was about.”
While Inger listens to it with a big laugh, Kay adds: “It still sounds like something magical. And it is something beyond the dreams of us gentlemen handball players. We just have a world champion in the family …”
Inger’s next dream is to come true at the Olympic Games in six months, also in Japan. Jorn and Kay’s dreams are, they say, smaller. “To become Danish champion with the club and to qualify for the European Championship 2022 with the Orange squad. That is a very big goal.”
But whatever the three handballing children achieve on a sporting level, for father Gino and mother Cecile one thing above all counts: “Learning life lessons. They spend a lot of time abroad, get to know the world. That is worth a lot to us.”
And, Jorn thinks: “When we look back on this later, we will realize how special this really is.”
The genes of the Smits handball family: ‘Later we realize how special this is’
Source link The genes of the Smits handball family: ‘Later we realize how special this is’