Lectures, train, eat, sleep. That is what a typical weekday looks like for the six Argo women who will be representing Wageningen UR at the European University Rowing Championships (EUC) next month in Hannover.
Photo: Sven Menschel
Argo will have not one but two teams this year. Nynke Groot Koerkamp and Tessa van Hateren are competing in the women’s coxless pair event. Mylène van Doorn, Marissa Wijnker, Floor Steenvoorden and Deanne Verkroost are taking part in the lightweight women’s event. The two teams performed well this season: the four lightweight women were comfortably first in their event and the coxless pair won too at the Dutch Student Championships.
It is difficult to assess what their chances are in Hannover. ‘The level of competition varies from year to year,’ explains Nynke. ‘That is because "being a student" is the only requirement. Sometimes a national sports association will send a group of rowers who happen to also be students to the EUC to prepare for a bigger championship. So it is not easy to estimate what standard to expect, with 70 universities from 15 countries. That’s why we are just training like mad and we will see how far we get.’
The championship has drawn a lot of attention within Argo. It has been a while since a Wageningen women’s team took part in the EUC. Nynke: ‘Argo is selecting more and more students for competitive rowing. But of course it is very motivating for everyone in the club now that Argo has managed to qualify twice.’ They train hard during the weekend too, sometimes twice a day. The women have no problem with the strict training regime. ‘The hours you spend in the boat are hours that would otherwise be spent slouched in front of the TV,’ says Floor. Remarkably, the women have achieved nearly all their degree credits so far. ‘The strict timetable gives you discipline and structure. And that actually helps you pay attention during lectures.’
The European Student Championships will be Nynke’s last feat for the time being: she is cutting back on the rowing this year as she now has a seat on the committee.