Since Thursday, the campus grounds are no longer off limits for students wanting to engage in sports or exercise. The tennis and beach volleyball courts can be used between noon and 6 p.m. Students need to phone Erasmus Sport a day beforehand to book a court. And from Monday on, Erasmus Sport will be offering twice-daily ‘body fit’ group classes, as well as an equipment-free fitness workout in the fresh air, opposite the Hatta Building. “Registration for these classes only opens 24 hours in advance,” says Elvira Bruinen of Erasmus Sport. “We hope this prevents classes from becoming fully booked straight away – so everyone who’s interested can join in.”

Erasmus Sport does want to make sure that these outdoor activities are done safely. That’s why they will be marking off zones to ensure everyone preserves the requisite 1.5 metres distance. “And someone from Erasmus Sport will be present at every class for supervision.”

Gym has to wait

It isn’t clear yet when students can go back to other activities, like fitness. The sports centre itself will remain closed for the time being – including facilities like the showers and toilets. And unfortunately, the campus isn’t really suited for outdoor workouts as offered by some gyms.

“We’re still examining our options, but there aren’t really any outdoor areas where you could leave the fitness equipment under some kind of cover. And rain showers are bad news for these machines.” Officially, gyms have to wait with opening until 1 September, but Bruinen is optimistic about this date being moved forward. “Particularly now that one of the fitness chains has taken legal action.”

‘Quite an impact’

Over the past two months, Erasmus Sport has missed out on a lot of income normally derived from e.g. day passes, courses and its sports café. “We don’t yet know how much exactly. But like other companies, this has naturally had quite an impact on our operations.” What’s more: it remains to be seen how many sports passes they’ll be selling in the upcoming academic year. For example, Erasmus Sport is taking into account that there could be fewer international students next year, or that Dutch students decide to stay home more often. “Even if the crisis is over, that won’t be end of the story,” is how Bruinen puts it.

Several dozens of students have applied to Erasmus Sport for compensation for their unused sports pass. “We’re trying to offer everyone a custom solution,” says Bruinen. “People who contact us but will be buying a new pass next year can expect a ‘corona discount’.”

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