So you want to be an Olympic Gold Medal Winner?
In 2016 five students from Erasmus University Rotterdam were taking part in the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. But they are not the only sports talents at Erasmus University. The university currently has 76 top-level student athletes. Outstanding athletes studying at Erasmus University can take advantage of special provisions.
Erasmus Elite Sports was founded in 1991 to support elite athletes studying at the Erasmus University. It is the intermediary between the athletes and the university. The organisation also takes care of the administration, like granting the Elite Sports status and informing the faculties. To support the athletes in the best way possible.
Gaby Dijkstra is top sport coordinator and proud of ‘her’ 76 top athletes. “We have world champions in every area like hockey, rowing and windsurf freestyle. Our most promising talent at the moment is Marieke Keijser, she is a first year student at Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management. She is a first class rower. She competed at three World Rowing Championships, claimed the title of World Junior Champion and won a silver medal at the World Championships last summer.”
“We also have Marloes Keetels, A student Business Administration who also is a national champion hockey, Olympic sailor and European champion Anneloes van Veen and many many more.”
Student athletes get to see Gaby on average twice a year, but they can always contact her in case they need help. When you are away 32 weeks a year or when you have a training schedule that doesn’t compete with your exams, you might need some assistance. They get timetable adjustments and special dispensation if needed and a free membership to all University sports facilities.
In order to be eligible for these special provisions their status has to be confirmed. If not recognised by NOC*NSF, they need to prove they spend at least 20 hours a week on their sports and they play on an international level. According to Gaby top athletes at Erasmus University can be found at every department, except philosophy.
Photo: Marieke Keyser by Ferdy Collewijn