The Thymos Sports Foundation and football club GVC will start with an internal football competition for female students in January. The enthusiasm is large enough to form a group with five teams.
Photo: Remo Wormmeester
Marcel Wenneker, DLO researcher and already five years coach of the women at GVC, this
year he coaches 45 new football players. Never before did he have to work with such a large group. ‘Every year we have women signing up, but this year it was significantly more than before.’ Also Thymos noticed that women’s football is on the rise, says board member Saskia Nijland. ‘During the AID and last during the bachelor open day we received a lot of questions about women’s football. Students that only want to join training can join GVC, an association recognised by Thymos. But there were also women that wanted to play matches and we were forced to refer them to the general football associations in Wageningen not aimed at students.
We thought this was a pity.’
That is why SWU Thymos recently held a survey to find out how large the interest among female students was for football matches. It is generally difficult to motivate students for matches in the weekends, says Wenneker. ‘Playing matches requires commitment to stay in Wageningen. Many women prefer to keep the weekends free to go to their parents’ home, or to work. Some students still play matches at their old club. But during practice games on weekdays I can always easily form a team.’
From the survey it was confirmed that many female students are interested in matches on weekdays. That is why the sports foundation has added a female football team, starting in January, to the Thymos Internal Competitions (TIC) for outdoor football. A new group is formed with five teams: four of GVC and one external team. A second external team will possibly be added. Saskia: ‘The benefit of internal games is that housemates or study friends can also join without having to commit to an association, but who do want to place a nice game of football.’
Thymos hopes that a female group will be the first step to, in cooperation with GVC, offer football matches to female students. Saskia: ‘With this we are responding to a real demand of students, it would be nice if we can maintain it in the coming years.’ Also Wenneker hopes to attract new women.
TIC may even lead to the creation of a female team for regular competitions, the coach thinks. ‘It is difficult to start a new women’s team because you need about 20 women right away to get through a season. Moreover, the competitions already start in August, so before the new group of students has arrived in Wageningen. With this internal match opportunities arise, because now a large group is playing together, and the team become increasingly closer.’