“We’re seeing exponential growth across the board,” says Erasmus Sport’s Rebekka Kadijk. As Sport Coordinator, one of her responsibilities is managing the scheduling for the organisation’s sport halls and facilities – a task that is becoming increasingly more challenging. “It’s quite a puzzle due to the limited number of sport facilities available. We’re at full capacity every weekday from nine in the morning to eleven at night.” The external locations such as the gymnasiums, swimming pools and pitches are also packed. This is because a few locations that would normally be used for sport activities are being used as vaccination centres. “That does not make the puzzle any easier,” explains Kadijk.
Playing on till 23:30 at night
The hockey club Never Less still has 70 students on the waiting list, in spite of the fact that the number of teams was expanded from 12 to 14. Scheduling so many teams is a real challenge. At the moment, they are able to organise all games and practices on the pitches located at De Esch and Leonidas, but that also means they have to sometimes play until 23:30 at night. “Training or playing a match so late in the evening can really take its toll,” says club chair Anne van Verre. “Right now we also have a practice scheduled on Thursday afternoons. That’s really inconvenient because a lot of students have other obligations such as work or attending lectures. This means they have to miss practice.”
Just like the other clubs, Never Less wants more members, but this isn’t possible right now because all the pitches are being shared with Victoria and Leonidas. Van Verre: “Needless to say, they want more members too, so for the time being, we’ll just have to continue with the current arrangement.”
A game of tennis also appeals to a lot of people. According to club chair Luca Neefjes, the tennis club Passing Shot has an estimated 250 people on its waiting list. She suspects that tennis is so popular because a lot of students have played in the past and that makes it easier to take up the sport again. But another reason could be that tennis was one of the few sports you could play during the pandemic. While she appreciates the level of interest, Neefjes feels it’s unfortunate that she has to disappoint some people. “For players who want to book time for individual matches, we have a booking system that works just fine. But training sessions have been so popular that we unfortunately had to draw lots to select who could come.”
The RSRC rugby club didn’t need waiting lists, in spite of the record number of students who wanted to join. Club chair Beer Astro: “On a good day, we have 90 young guns (new players, eds.) on the pitch. The biggest challenge is making sure there’s no damage to our only pitch. That’s because the studs on rugby boots are pretty large, but so far we’ve been able to avoid any damage.” He has also noticed that members are very eager. One of the things they can’t wait to do is catch up on the events they missed last year. “It’s great seeing so much enthusiasm, but when it comes to making hard decisions to choose between ideas for events, we’re actually spoiled for choice.”
The volleyball club Erasmus Volley has had to place no less than 150 students on a waiting list, even though the club has an extra team that allows them to accommodate more students than in previous years. “Normally we have 300 members who play, but this year we have 360,” says club chair Donna Smits. The club consulted with Erasmus Sport, so it wasn’t a problem to make good arrangements for booking courts at convenient times. But Smits also says they’ll take advantage of any opportunity to sign up new members. “We’re looking forward to the opening of the new sport complex currently under construction. Then we’ll hopefully be able to welcome even more people to our club.”
Student associations are also at their capacity this year due to all-time high applications.