On Friday 8 through Sunday 10 June, about one and a half thousand students from around the country came to Wageningen for the Great Dutch Student Championship (GNSK). Wageningen performed amazingly on home turf and ended in second place – the best result in years.
The Wageningen Beasts took first place in Olympic weightlifting. © GNSK
A success for Wageningen
The Wageningen athletes were successful in various disciplines. The first places in squash, basketball (men), Ultimate frisbee, triathlon (women), Olympic weightlifting (men) and cycling (men) all went to Wageningen. The men’s football team did not have a single goal against them until the finals, in which they lost with a one-goal difference against Amsterdam (0-1). Second place also went to the Wageningen gymnasts. As chair of Thymos, Esther Veldhuizen was responsible for the Wageningen delegation. ‘I am proud of the results. Wageningen actually focuses on a broad offer of sports rather than on top-class sport. It is amazing to see that we can still compete at high levels.’ Only Nijmegen did better than Wageningen.
‘Even competitors cheer you on’
Imke van Rees, player for the Wageningen Ultimate frisbee team: ‘The other teams didn’t take it easy on us. The final against Nijmegen was tense: we were neck and neck for a long time, and some points took quite a while.’ Nick Vollenbroek, member of the Wageningen Beasts: ‘Olympic weightlifting is not about the competition among participants. Of course you want to win, but everyone wishes the best possible performance for their each other as well. Even competitors cheer you on.’
Every year, GNSK supports a charity. This year’s charity was Running Blind, a foundation that helps visually impaired people with running, walking and Nordic walking. GNSK participants could experience how it is to play sports with a visual impairment during clinics (article in Dutch), or how it is to guide someone with a visual impairment. ‘We wanted to do more than just donate money’, says Roefs. ‘Through this experience, in which you have to blindly trust your buddy, we try to raise students’ awareness of what it means to practise sports with a visual impairment.’ During the award ceremony on Sunday, a cheque for the amount of 950 euros was presented to Running Blind.
© Running Blind
Lack of sleep
GNSK press information officer Luc Roefs looks back upon the largest students’ sports event of the Netherlands with satisfaction. ‘For an entire year, you put so much energy into the preparations, and it all came together during three days of sports and parties. I slept three hours on Friday and two on Saturday, but I was just too busy during the days to have time to be tired.’ Roefs deems the GNSK a success. ‘Both in terms of sports and ambiance. Enthusiastic participants, great parties, good weather and no serious incidents. And that second place: amazing.’
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