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This weekend, Frenzy, the Dutch Warhammer championship, took place in the Rai in Amsterdam. For amateurs Michel, Merijn and Sjoerd (my brother) it was D-Day for their Warhammer for Water initiative.

Picture above: A close-up of the ‘Warhammer for Water’ army. These hand-painted heroic scale miniatures are between 20 mm – 50 mm tall.

After the guys glimpsed the Africa Interactive video of the project , they settled on supporting this Safe Drinking Water & Women empowerment project in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, run by Akvo support partner Women for Water Partnership and field partner Soroptimist International of Europe Club. It’s a Live Earth Run for Water project, which has already received money from Twestival Karlshamn, Aqua 4 All and HORCO. The budget of €11,740 (about $16,000) will provide 2 functioning water systems, so 5,000 people get access to improved water for 30 years. It will include a training and education component too – at a rate of around 200 people per year. Before the championship they’d convinced 35 people to sponsor this Akvo project, which they’d chosen online, with the donation amount varying from €10 to €30 Euro, depending on their final ranking in the tournament. So this game was no laughing matter – well, it was actually.

Anyway, back to my job. Which was to be Saturday match commentator….

After some coffee Sjoerd and Merijn unpacked their combined dwarf and woodelf army, ready to engage professional opponents. But just a few minutes into the first match they lost an entire regiment, and what followed next can only be described as a wipe-out.

With the support of family and friends the second game started a lot better. These opponents did not seem used to both supporters and camera’s being present, and after a big clash Sjoerd and Merijn scored their first official minor victory. In the third game against a nicely painted lizardmen army (yes – I discover my inner nerd..) Sjoerd got substituted. Merijn and Michel thought hard before deciding to play all or nothing, ending in a solid victory! By doing so the guys ended 10th – out of 34 participating teams. That netted them €20 Euro off each donor who’d pledged to support them – 35 sponsors x €20 = €700 Euro. Awesome stuff!

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In game three Merijn and Michel decided to play all or nothing.

By the end of the day Merijn, Michel and Sjoerd got awarded the best sportsmanship trophy, and their Warhammer for Water initiative raised about €700 euro for the Ethiopian project. Coming on top of funds already gathered by Twestival Karlshamn, and just as the project becomes the star fundraiser for an Utrecht restaurant (more on that shortly), this money really counts.

More pictures of the day can be seen here.

Thanks guys for allowing us to have a close look into your secret hobby, and for making this happen. And the amazing thing? Girlfriends of Warhammer players actually came along to watch and cheer. Yes, they actually have girlfriends. Women for Water Partnership, you have a new army, a warhammer army. And it’s funding water projects.

Peter van der Linde is the partner – director of Akvo.