As of Wednesday 3 March, young people aged up to 27 years may do group sports outdoors again, with no distance restrictions. TU Delft sports associations cannot wait.
Field hockey players in front of X in October 2020. (Photo: Dalia Madi)

As of Wednesday 3 March, young people aged up to 27 years may do group sports outdoors again, with no distance restrictions. TU Delft sports associations cannot wait.

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“We are really happy of course,” beams Vlei Blommers, Secretary of the Ariston’80 football club. “We try to stay in touch with our members through online activities, but seeing them happily run around the field will be fabulous. Just seeing each other live again will be great.”

They do not, as yet, have a clear plan. “We are dependent on X, the sports centre, as they set the rules. They decide things like how many people may be in the centre at the same time. We need to look at what we can do within the rules.”

The question is whether everyone dares to do team sports again. Blommers thinks that “most of them will be happy that we can play football again. The pandemic has not left us of course, so we will not hug each other. The members who are doing healthcare internships will be even more careful.”

Team spirit
Isa den Besten, Chair of the Force Elektro ultimate frisbee association, is also ‘enormously happy’. “The best thing is being able to work in teams. At present, only pairs may train at the same time and you simply cannot create competition situations. It is also nice that we do not need to stick to the one-and-a-half metre rule anymore.”

Her Board too is awaiting the rules from X. “The Government determines the maximum number of people on the field, but X defines the safety rules on the ground.”

‘Wonderful that we will have more leeway’

Den Besten does not think that many members will be wary of joining in. “Nobody was tested positive at previous group practice, so I do not foresee any problems.”

Delighted
The Paal Centraal korfball club is waiting to put together its training plans. “It is wonderful that we can play in a group again,” responds the club’s Chair Lyanne de Haas. “We are completely delighted. We have all missed korfball enormously. The best thing is not having to maintain distance anymore.”

Normally the korfball players play indoors in winter and only go outdoors in mid-April. De Haas hopes that they can go outdoors earlier this year. “Even if there is a cold spell, we don’t mind putting our thermals on to train.”

Hitting the ball back and forth
Everyone at the Dopie hockey club is “mega enthusiastic”, says its Secretary Nikki Bruurs. “It’s wonderful that we will have more leeway. If you train in pairs all you can do is hit the ball back and forth.” The club is talking to the other TU Delft hockey clubs, DSHC and Scoop, about organising tournaments among themselves sometime in the not too distant future.

However, the age limit is an issue. There is a small group of players aged 27 and over, and it is still unclear what they may and may not do. In any case, the club will have to see how it arranges everything in terms of timing while there is still an evening curfew.

The staff at X are currently in discussions with the clubs and the trainers about how to start training safely on 3 March. “I hope that there will be greater clarity about what we can do in the time to come,” said Peter Boerefijn, X’s Sports Coordinator.