Football, rugby, netball and basketball all began as college sports unlike Korfball which in the UK started off life as a club sport and the club model has dominated ever since.
That model is based on the Dutch model but lacks the progressive Dutch social structure which allows clubs to establish a base on which they build a solid foundation and that has proved a problem in terms of development of the sport
Over the 35 years I have been involved in the sport I have seen a great many clubs come and go, many of them once leading clubs in the sport.
I raise the question in light of the college/university based model that Chinese Taipei appear to have adopted with significant success, which has led them to be part of the trio of nations that now dominate the world stage.
Bearing in mind how many of the other nations around the world, who have adopted the club system approach, are struggling to achieve such success, it raises questions I believe as to the choice of models a nation new to the sport might find most effective.
Club, school, or college based Korfball.
US Korfball followed the Dutch club model and despite the short term success of winning World Games bronze the system was not sustainable and Korfball has all but disappeared from the continent.
Before those who belong to clubs start to get all defensive, I am not suggesting we do not need clubs. Of course we do. I am merely asking whether a club based system is the most effective one on which to build a solid foundation for the sport.
Sure we have some limited school and university Korfball in the UK but both play second fiddle to the club system when it comes to priorities and sadly we have even seen a dumbing down of junior Korfball, in terms of the quality of events in recent years.
The fact that the organizer of National youth day has to post on the forums the fact that 'they have not had many entries and need more' suggests that we may have lost our momentum in terms of junior and school Korfball which is of concern.
When you consider British Korfball's progress, or lack of it, since 1946, I would question whether the club model, that dominated British Korfball throughout its lifetime, has proved to be the most effective model in terms of development.
As we see yet another club apparently struggling, and one itself established in 1946, I believe it is relevant question to pose in terms of our ongoing development.
As far as Mitcham is concerned they have 37 players (although I doubt that all are playing regularly) listed on their web site so they will have enough players to field a team in the NL next year, but the question is whether they will have enough NL quality players for that team.
I hope that Mitcham are able to do so and that other clubs will realize that the loss of a club like Mitcham will be a huge loss to themselves in the long run.