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Updated: December 8, 2018
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Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar
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Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2018 by Marco Stoovelaar

(Story by Marco Stoovelaar; Photos by Henk Seppen & Marco Stoovelaar)

Rieke Dirks and Charles Urbanus win Nol Houtkamp and Leen Volkerijk Awards

...Rieke Dirks won the Nol Houtkamp Award...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
NIEUWEGEIN (Neth.) - Rieke Dirks and Charles Urbanus are this years winners of the Nol Houtkamp Award and Leen Volkerijk Award. The annual Awards were handed out on Saturday (December 8) during the Congress of the Royal Netherlands Baseball and Softball Association (KNBSB) in Nieuwegein.

The Nol Houtkamp and Leen Volkerijk Awards are handed out annually to persons who have made a long contribution to player development in softball and baseball in the Netherlands.

The Leen Volkerijk Award for baseball was first handed out early 1994 (for 1993) and is named after Leen Volkerijk, who had a long career in coaching baseball at both the club-level and the National Team-level. Leen Volkerijk, who passed away in 1993, was a longtime coach of ADO in The Hague, but also coached for Twins in Oosterhout. Besides that, for many years, Volkerijk was a member of the coaching-staff of both the Netherlands Juniors Team and the Netherlands National Team, mostly as its Pitching Coach.

The Nol Houtkamp Award for softball was first handed out in 1999 and is named after Nol Houtkamp, who has had a lot of influence in the player development in women's softball. After a baseball-career as player, Houtkamp became a softball-coach. Houtkamp led the Netherlands National Softball Team for a record of fifteen consecutive years (1969-1983). Through the years, Houtkamp also coached many club-teams in all kinds of leagues, including the highest division. Besides that, he also coached and gave clinics in Belgium and Spain. Nol Houtkamp passed away in February of this year.

Winners Nol Houtkamp Award
1999Bram van der Werf2009René Roovers
2000Jan & Ria van der Molen2010Piet Pannen
2001Ineke Barnhoorn2011Kees van Vegten
2002not handed out2012Berend Mannessen
2003Jan Kouwenhoven2013Annie Hekker
2004not handed out2014Fred Remmers & Bart van Knegsel
2005André Prins2015Mary-Ann Hatt
2006Herman Thomas2016Jeroen van de Wiel
2007Hans Arends2017Carolien Stadhouders & Bert Loggen
2008Jaap Braakman2018Rieke Dirks
Also during the Congress on Saturday, former baseball-umpire Fred van Groningen Schinkel and former baseball-coach Robert Eenhoorn were officially inducted into the Netherlands Baseball & Softball Hall of Fame. The Slugger was handed out to Jos Peeters for his activities in G-baseball/softball, while Onze Gezellen was named Club of the Year.

With the handing out of these Awards, all postseason-awards have now been handed out. In the first weeks of November, all individual awards for the best players in this season's highest Dutch baseball- and softball-leagues were handed out.
Hall of Fame Election Slugger & Club of the Year
Baseball Awards Softball Awards

Rieke Dirks is active in player development in softball for over forty years, mostly in the south of the country. Besides playing herself, she coached youth softball-teams at several clubs, including Ducks and currently at Roef!. She conducted many clinics, gave instructions to (youth) players and helped improving the level of softball in the province of Noord-Brabant.

...Charles Urbanus won the Leen Volkerijk Award...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
In the past few years, Rieke Dirks traveled to Nigeria several times for her own expense to conduct softball-clinics for local softball-players in the African country. During her travels, she left softball-equipment which was donated to her by clubs or via private donations.

Rieke Dirks, who was an Official Scorer for softball for some years in the eighties, is the eighteenth recipient of the Nol Houtkamp Award. The Award was not handed out in 2002 and 2004.

Last year, the Nol Houtkamp Award went to the umpiring couple Carolien Stadhouders and Bert Loggen for their longtime contributions to the development of umpiring in softball.

Charles Urbanus was handed the Leen Volkerijk Award for his many contributions in baseball-development in the past thirty years as a coach. In October, after five seasons, Urbanus stepped down as Head Coach of the big league-team of L&D Amsterdam Pirates, whom he also led in 1995-1997 and 2010-2012.

After a successful playing career, playing for OVVO and Amstel Tijgers, Urbanus started coaching in 1987. He first led the women's softball-team of Terrasvogels for four years (1987-1990), then turned to baseball and led Neptunus four seasons (1991-1994). In 2008 and 2009, Urbanus was the Head Coach of the Amsterdam Pirates Rookie League Team.

Winners Leen Volkerijk Award
1993Wim Hageman2006Robert Eenhoorn
1994Cees Santifort2007Tom Geestman
1995Jules de Pierre2008Michel Aussems
1996Floor Blaauw2009Wim van den Hurk
1997Harold van Duinen2010Gé van Berkel
1998Bart Seidel2011Jelle Postma
1999Bill Arce2012Gerard van Beek
2000Cees Herkemij2013Gijs Selderijk
2001Loek Loevendie2014Peter van Dalen
2002not handed out2015Eric de Vries
2003Bill Froberg2016Eric de Bruin
2004Ruud Elfers2017Evert-Jan 't Hoen
2005Reinhold Jahn2018Charles Urbanus
Through the years, Urbanus also coached several youth-teams at Amsterdam Pirates and also was a member of the coaching-staff of the Netherlands Junior Baseball Team and the Netherlands National Baseball Team.

Urbanus regularly inserted young and talented players in the main-squads of the clubs he coached. Besides that, while working with the National Junior Team and the youth-teams at Pirates, Urbanus made a big contribution in player development of many players.

Charles Urbanus is the 25th recipient of the Leen Volkerijk Award, which until last year was named In Memoriam Leen Volkerijk Award. Only once, the Award was not handed out, which was in 2002.

Last year, the Award went to baseball-coach Evert-Jan 't Hoen for his contributions in player development as Coordinator of Rotterdam United Baseball and the Baseball Academy Rotterdam Unicorns.

(December 8)

Related Articles:
Fred van Groningen Schinkel & Robert Eenhoorn inducted into Dutch Hall of Fame. (December 8, 2018)
Slugger for Jos Peeters (G-baseball/softball); Onze Gezellen Club of the Year. (December 8, 2018)
Dwayne Kamp MVP, Diegomar Markwell Best Pitcher 2018 (baseball). (November 9, 2018)
Dinet Oosting MVP, Stephanie Trzcinski Best Pitcher 2018 (softball). (November 9, 2018)
Iconic softball-coach Nol Houtkamp passed away. (February 22, 2018)

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