News - February 17, 2010

Bongerd under pressure

The yoga course is fully booked within five minutes, indoor football goes on until past midnight, and a fitness class can involve more waiting than exercising. The University sports Centre is bursting at the seams through rising student numbers. The executive council is looking into the problem, on the insistence of Thymos sports foundation.

The University sports Centre is bursting at the seams
'Facilities and services did not want to make any money available for solving the space problem, so we went to the board ourselves', says Ruben Wester of Thymos. A letter from the sports foundation outlining problems and solutions was also signed by the central employees' council and the student council. Kees van der Ark of the Veste student party: 'This affects all students and staff.'
The University is proud of the sports centre, but it will lose its shine if it does not get extra space and staffing. 'We have reached the limit. You cannot start competitions at five o'clock if lectures go on until five fifteen.' For squash you have to sign up long in advance and if you want to get on a course you have to be quick about it.'
Student volleyball club WaHo has stopped recruiting because they cannot offer enough training sessions. For the ladies' team there is a waiting list of about ten people, reports secretary Marieke van der Heiden. 'But many have already gone to find another club.' Next season WaHo will be forced to play home matches on Friday evenings instead of Tuesdays. 'We are afraid that we will miss out on some competition players, as the younger students tend to go home for the weekend.'

The problems can be solved, says Thymos, by building two new classrooms and an extra fitness hall, which would be possible with the present land-use allocation. New staffing is also needing, equivalent to one full-time job.
Tijs Breukink of the executive board told the central employees council on 10 February that the board is aware of the problems. 'We are getting the measure of the situation and will look at both temporary and long-term solutions.' The board will come back to the subject later in February or March. 'But the university does not have unlimited funds', warned Breukink in advance. Wester hopes they will get on with it now. In the absence of a satisfactory response, Thymos has other strategies up its sleeve.