Medbelle's Wednesday Night Football Club

Medbelle's Wednesday Night Football Club

Written by Cory Jones

Published: Tuesday, 5 July 2022

Over the past few months, a new tradition has established itself. Friends and employees of Medbelle, as well as Kreuzberg locals, meet directly after work at the corner of Adalbertstrasse and Waldemarstrasse with water bottles and boots in hand, the summer sun promising plenty of daylight, i.e. game time, ahead. After a quick warm-up (which serves as a cool down from the work day) the ball is released into the Bolzplatz, the school-ground-style football court. We leisurely filter ourselves into teams of 4 or 5 a side and begin to kick about. From the get-go, we keep track of stats in an ad hoc manner (most goals/best save/nicest touch) but somehow the exact score always seems to escape us.

Our game must seem enticing to those watching from the other side of the fence because each week new players wend their way into the fray. These spontaneous free agents range in age from school children to seasoned football veterans and always add something to the game. On an average week, we will have players from 5 different continents playing on the same pitch, a testament to the long and winding journeys each player has taken to find themselves in Berlin. The different player types make for interesting observing, too: the athletic yet inexperienced footballer, the I-haven’t-played-since-the-age-of-10 contender (who surprises themself with how much skill they’ve retained) and the complete newbie just there to have fun. Irrespective of footballing ability and fitness, however, we all play until our legs won't carry us anymore or the sun goes down, whichever comes first.

Because team sports are the ultimate team-building activity, Medbelle cofounder Leander De Laporte had the idea for our weekly footy meetup with the goal of Medbelle competing in the Berlin Startup League. In time our informal pickup games may develop into just such a full-blown team, but for now, we can all enjoy the ritual of working together during the day, heading to the field together after work and playing together until we’re all petered out.

Every week when the ball has been stowed away after a short postgame hang-out, the teams split up into smaller groups, each going their own way. Some head for a post-workout drink, others to share a meal, but we all end up in the same place: the right kind of tired in bed, refreshed and maybe a tad sore for Thursday morning.

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