Kevin is having a great time on this beautiful spring day. But then again, he generally enjoys his work at Erasmus Sport, and has done so ever since he commenced employment in April of last year. He works in and around the Erasmus Sport Center from 9.30am to 2.30pm four days a week. He is a volunteer, because Kevin receives benefits under the Occupational Disability Support for Young Disabled People Act.

“I like to start my mornings with a cup of coffee in the cafeteria, to have a bit of a chat. After that I will pick up and deliver the letters,” he says. “Afterwards I will patrol the sports centre to make sure everything is in order: toilets, lockers, gyms… I will tick things off on a checklist, which I will then generally hand to Ali at the Service Desk.”

Being outdoors

By then it will be 11.30 or 12.00, i.e., lunchtime. Kevin generally has lunch with one of his colleagues. He will then spend a few hours washing dishes in the washing-up area. However, he has recently been given a new job, as well: tidying up the tennis and beach volleyball courts. “I mainly remove small litter. If a rubbish bin has broken or something major like that, I’ll fetch someone else.” This is actually his favourite part of his job. “Because I absolutely love being outdoors. I love walking near the Zevenhuizerplas Lake, which is near my home, as well.”

Kevin grew up in Assen, the capital of Drenthe province, but moved to Rotterdam with his parents after completing primary school. In Rotterdam he attended a special needs school, which wasn’t entirely his cup of tea. “At primary school I was taught subjects such as history and geography, which were a lot of fun. But at the special needs school, the emphasis was mainly on work.”

Before he found his way to the campus, he worked at an old people’s home, where he was made redundant due to budget cuts. The change proved fortunate for him. He loves his colleagues at Erasmus Sport, he is allowed to work out after work once every two weeks, and most of the students are reasonably nice to him. “I am regularly paid compliments by students when I’m in the washing-up area,” says Kevin. He does believe they should be a little bit tidier, though. “They sometimes make a mess of the place. They’ll leave all their plates on the table or the bar, with leftover food still on it. But hey, I don’t need to tell you what students are like.”