18 June 2017 • by Lotte Hoes
Official opening of Zuiderpark Sports Campus
‘How will we benefit from the Zuiderpark Sports Campus? Since it gives us the possibility to train effectively, we’re sure to win gold at the Olympic Games in Tokyo!’ Beach volleyball players Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen, who earned a bronze medal last year in Rio, are going for gold. Between all their training activities, fortunately they still have time to hand over the symbolic key to the Zuiderpark Sports Campus to Kees Jansma and Marloes Wesselink, who officially opened the campus on 14 June. The handing over of the key was followed by a fitting show in which students of the Teacher Education in Physical Education degree programme also got to show off their gymnastic skills.
Construction on the Zuiderpark Sports Campus was finished a little while ago, but the centre is now completely ready for use: all furniture and equipment is in place and all lines are painted on the sports floors. The smell of latex and new rubber welcomes you as you enter the campus. Reason enough for a celebration, reasoned the Municipality of The Hague, The Hague University of Applied Sciences and Mondriaan regional training centre. They are the new occupants of the building, where students of the Teacher Education in Physical Education, Sport Studies and International Sport Management degree programmes will have the possibility to use at least 28% of the 34,000 square metres of the centre. This includes a top-class sports hall featuring the latest technical gadgets (such as a ‘hawk eye’), a beach sports hall, two recreational sports halls, a dance room, a dojo, gymnasium areas, a gymnastics centre and several large lecture rooms, a spacious media library and dozens of self-study rooms.
In other words, starting in September, the building will not only house students of the Teacher Education in Physical Education and Sport Studies programmes, but also students of the Mondrian regional training centre. Zuiderpark Sports Campus is not only a teaching location, but is also sure to be the training base of eight Hague sports clubs, where top athletes can train and compete. In fact, the latter is the case this week: the Beach Open & World League Volleyball tournament is being held from Thursday in an immense indoor sandpit. ‘See that equipment on the sides?’ Rabin Baldewsingh, the Hague aldermen for Sports, points at the ceiling. He is giving a guided tour right before the official opening. ‘Those devices produce water to ensure high-quality sand at all times.’
Baldewsingh is tremendously proud of the new Zuiderpark Sports Campus. The building – with its immense all-purpose sports centre that can accommodate 3,400 spectators – is perfect for major tournaments. This includes the Davis Cup, which will be held here this September. ‘But I’m also very pleased that The Hague University of Applied Sciences will be using the centre,’ he says. ‘With the sophisticated technology we have here, such as the force measurement platform, they can conduct research into rehabilitation and professional sports.’ Teacher Education in Physical Education student Branco Kranenburg entirely agrees with him. ‘Our old location on Laan van Poot was definitely in need of replacement. This location offers so much more potential. All of the possibilities of the building will definitely result in a tremendous improvement to the sports education offered both in The Hague and elsewhere!