Read more Eurekaweek stories
‘Did you pee in your bed?’ RSM STAR tests the knowledge of new students
The study associations were given the opportunity to present themselves to the freshers…
Skadi member Boudewijn is giving a first-year student a tour, and we are invited to tag along. People coming from outside are given a choice of two spiral staircases (one gold and one blue) to enter the building. “Due to the coronavirus, everyone now gets to use both staircases, but in normal times, people have to earn the right to enter the building using the golden staircase. You see, that staircase is intended to be used only by highly devoted rowers and the board.”
Once we have climbed the staircase, we enter the clubhouse through a large balcony. In normal times, the clubhouse is where the club’s parties are held. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, no parties can be held at present, but that doesn’t mean Skadi is not organising any activities for its members. “We’re lucky in that we have a large yard. In the last few weeks we’ve installed some tables, where people can keep their distance from each other and where members can enjoy an al-fresco beer on weekdays,” says Floor, who will soon take over as Skadi’s president.
We use the golden staircase to go outside, to the boathouse that accommodates about one hundred rowing boats. We learn that Skadi is not only represented at the Olympics by its members, but also by its boats. One of the boats in the boathouse was used at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Skadi is a prestigious club. This is clear not just from its large number of boats, but also from the black limousine parked outside, in which the club’s members of the board are driven to rowing competitions in grand style.
Wouter van Dam, Skadi’s current president, is glad that the club has been allowed to receive prospective members. “We think it’s vital that people get to meet us face to face during the induction week, and we’ve found that students like being able to talk to Skadi members and hear how things are done here.” However, the club has had to make considerable adjustments in order to be able to receive prospective members. “We’ve created more distance between pieces of furniture than usual, so that everyone can keep their distance. In addition, we’re working with time slots, to prevent too many people from showing up at the same time. Furthermore, we normally throw a big party on Thursday to close off Eurekaweek, but obviously, we can’t do that this year.”
Rowing boats full of enthusiastic students are leaving from and returning to Skadi. “I just did something I wasn’t expecting to be doing,” says Marilyn, who is embarking on a degree in Health Sciences. She is visiting Skadi along with the rest of her Eurekaweek group, and she has just rowed a short distance. “This was my first time rowing, and I really liked it a lot. Rowing is truly all about cooperation.” She is not sure yet she will join Skadi. “I’ll visit a few more societies, then make up my mind.”
A first-year student called Eva has some rowing experience, as her father used to be a member of a rowing club. She is going to attend Erasmus University College and really liked her visit to Skadi. “I’ve always been the athletic type and I’d love to pick up a sport in Rotterdam.” She has just been given a tour of the club’s entire premises and really enjoyed the experience. “I originally intended to sign up for a different sport, but this place really is a lot more fun than I was expecting.”