Jelle Bakker is the founder of the Marble League, along with their older sibling Dion Bakker.

Before starting the Marble League, Jelle and Dion were based in the city of Knikkegen where they founded the Knikkegen Marble League, a European regional marble sports competition. Jelle was inspired to organize their own league after visiting Numerun when they were four years old, which included a ride down Colina Umerun. When they returned home, Jelle received a sand shovel for their birthday. The following day they traveled to Doornse Gat with Dion where they made their first slope, a straight track five meters in length. Thirty years later this grew into the Marble Rally.[1]

The KML was held in Jelle and Dion's stadium, the Bakker Bowl. One year, the KML went viral in a TV featurette and the League increased in popularity. This led to applications from around the world to enter the League, most of which the Bakker brothers had to decline. The popularity attracted the attention of Greg Woods, the owner of the Fruit Circuit. In late 2014, the brothers met with Woods and they planned to expand the KML by adding an international league. In early 2015, this was expanded further into the entire tournament. In mid-2015 Jelle announced the new tournament as the Marble League, which was held in the Bakker Bowl.[2]

Jelle launched the Sand Marble Rally in 2016 after holding several exhibition races. They received applicants from across Marblearth. The popularity of the competition was boosted by the KML and the viral video.[1]

In the fall of 2017, the Bakker siblings along with Greg Woods went on a world tour. Part of the tour included visiting the Royal Family of Snoronto and the Arctic Circle in Hailfern, the stadium of the Snowballs. They like the stadium so much they offered the Snowballs the opportunity to host Marble League 2018 which they accepted. After an avalanche that destroyed the Arctic Circle, the Bakker siblings agreed to let the final event of Marble League 2018, the Sand Mogul Race, be held in the Bakker Bowl.[3]

Real life

Jelle Bakker is the Dutch creator of Jelle's Marble Runs. Jelle started building marble runs when he received one on his fourth birthday.[5] Outside of marble runs, Jelle enjoys travelling across Europe to visit waterparks with flumes as an inspiration for his marble runs.[6] Jelle managed to fulfill his dream by opening a marble museum in the De Molenpoort Shopping Center in Nijmegen, the Netherlands in 2019. It features marble and marble runs from his youth as well as larger marble machines. It also features the marbles from the Marble League as well as some marbles from the 17th and 18th century.[7]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Stynth (13th September 2020). WHO’S TEARING UP THE SAND IN 2020? – PART 1. Marble Sports.
  2. Stynth (31st January 2020). RetRollSpective – Team Primary. Marble Sports.
  3. Stynth (11th January 2020). RetRollSpective – Snowballs. Marble Sports.
  4. Jelle Bakker. The MAD Museum.
  5. Alex Dackevych (15th April 2016). The marble racing craze that's captivated the internet. BBC News.
  6. Captivating competition and even a torch-lighting ceremony: Welcome to the MarbleLympics. The Irish News (6th July 2017).
  7. I finally have MY OWN Marble Run Museum!. Jelle's Marble Runs (12th December 2019).
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