Black and white athletes use all available space

Evening closure makes it innovative in gyms and gyms that usually have a program in the evening. Visit Sneek Wit-Zwart Football Club, where the first team completes pre-workday training, and the gym for White-Black left-back Alwin Velds.

“Find the space,” coach Carlo Ridijk calls out to sixteen yellow-clad Ol Van Snick Witt-Zwart players. They are close together, using half the field of artificial turf, which is flooded by the light of the stadium lights. “If you play, walk away immediately.” The ball shoots across the field at high speed, and the defenders chase it.

Using all the available space, White-Black does it differently. Normally, this group would be on the field at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, but now that practice has been called off out of necessity, the team has moved to 4:30 a.m. Just like many sports teams in the new 5 to 5 system, I’m looking for an opportunity to train after all.

“It started off as a group application joke,” says team manager Martin Van Claveren, who was watching along with his 1,000th cup of coffee. But soon the boys thought, why not? They’ve won all nine games this season and are on the cusp of becoming champions, and they want to keep that flow going. All players are present except for one player. He works in shifts in a meat company. It’s busy there with Christmas approaching.

Arrange a training match

The irony is that of all 50 teams White-Black has, only the first team is not allowed to play next Saturday’s game. KNVB announced Monday evening the closure of all “performance competitions” until further notice. The youth and lower regions “where as much football as possible is played” will continue. For White-Black 1, this means that the meeting with the Heerenveense Boys has been postponed. “We’re still trying to arrange a practice match, because that’s allowed,” says board member Sven Baatstra. “It’s a little strange, yes, but we respect the rules and the color within the lines.”

What this coloring page for the whole club will look like is not yet certain. The White-Black House is still waiting for a debate in the House on Wednesday for this. Both the KNVB and the umbrella sports organization NOCNSF hope Parliament will extend the curfew for outdoor sports until eight, in addition to closing essential stores. Batstra: “We’ve already asked for all members to be available, and once the rules are final, we can quickly solve the puzzle.”

After the last ten-minute game, the blue team players hand their jackets and everyone escapes from a storm that seems to have waited until half past seven. In the canteen, breakfast is ready at a distance of one and a half meters. . From the local bakery.

Only left-back Alwin Velds (31) lets this meal pass him by. As a gym owner, he must hurry, because there are more people who want to exercise early now.

Ten minutes later, the Velds turned on the light of the Omnia Sports Center in a business park outside Sneek. It usually opens at 8am, but now that all evening courses have been cancelled, it’s an hour long. The enthusiasm isn’t great yet. But Harm-Jan Hoekstra (29), Jorrit Terpstra (32) and Sjoukje Feenstra (19) are seizing the opportunity. They quickly set up a loop with abdominal exercises, weights, punching bags, and heavy ropes being tossed back and forth. Thirty seconds of hard work, ten seconds of rest, then the next exercise.

Sports Center Umniah from Alwin Velds (in front of the mirror). You can train here from 7 in the morning.Harry Cook / de Volkskrant Statue

Like many gyms across the country, Velds immediately began making a switch this weekend. We usually have about seventy people in the center every evening. I’ve moved group lessons to the day and extended working hours on the weekends. If there is a lot of interest in the coming weekend, we will increase it. At least until 5 am. Just see what the members want.

tent in front of the door

Velds are used to respond quickly to new rules. Since taking over the gym in September last year, he’s had to make a lot of adjustments. I closed half the time. But we practiced in a tent in front of the door and with the equipment outside. I’ve given a lot of online coaching, posted videos on Facebook and Instagram with today’s workout and often give in-person coaching in parks and parking lots.

It’s appreciated, Fields notes. “I think I ended up with about forty or fifty new recordings from that tent.” Velds have some reservations about the new measures themselves. You could say: The longer you are open, the better your athletes will post. And what a difference it makes that we trained at 4:30 instead of 8. Fields says such criticisms don’t get much criticism. “I understand that something has to be done and I’m glad I don’t have to make decisions.”

Fields is convinced that this will take more than three weeks. So he will keep his early training sessions in the gym for now. I expect this will attract more and more people in the coming weeks. Playing early football was fun, too.

“I think I’ll continue with this after closing,” says early bird Harm Jan when he drinks fresh coffee with Gorit and Shokji shortly after eight. The light slowly goes down outside and the three spend the day in front of the computer. “Yes, I feel very good and then I will also benefit from my evening,” says Jorit.

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