MAASTRICHT. Thirty spinning bikes are waiting in a brand new studio. A class of primary school pupils is using the large sports hall where three basketball games can take place simultaneously. In the new gym on the first floor, university students are doing their thing this Tuesday evening. The first part of the new University Sports Centre in Randwyck opened its doors this week. On 4 January 2016, if all goes according to plan, the sports centre will be complete.
That will be six months sooner than expected, thanks to a mild winter and the wide margin that was calculated.
In January 2016, the present gym, which already seems very spacious, will then more than double its number of square metres. Three squash courts, the climbing and boulder hall (eleven metres high) and two halls for group lessons will also be ready by that time. “One third of the centre is now finished,” explained Birgitte Hendrickx, head of UM Sports, and Netty Bekkers, department head of customer management and communication for UM Sports, during a guided tour. “Eventually, we don’t just want students and employees to do sports, although that will continue to be our core business. The approximately 175 learning spaces will provide room for studying, the catering section where you can drink and eat will be the place where people meet or come to chat after a game.” The tender for the catering section is out at the moment and by the beginning of July it will be clear which candidate may run the business.
The sports centre will be busier at weekends, because the large hall will provide student sports association Fyrfad’s volley ball teams, the indoor football players, the Mas Incontro fencers and the Manos handball players, among others, with the opportunity to play their competitions on home ground.
Hendrickx and Bekkers expect the number of members – now almost 30 per cent of the students – to grow in the time to come. They also hope eventually to get a multifunctional outdoor field on the university premises. Hendrickx: “Not for competitions, but for recreational purposes. The university is currently working together with the hospital, the provincial authorities and the city council to develop the area. Sports is one of the spearheads. It would be great if one could see that apart from the sports centre, the area where the Health Campus is located, also considers sports and movement to be of paramount importance.”