MAASTRICHT. All boats of the student rowing association Saurus can get back on the water on March 3rd. Finally, sighs chairman Karel van Melle, “it seems an eternity ago that we could row unimpeded”.
Last Tuesday, Dutch Prime Minister Rutte announced that young people up to the age of 27 will again be able to take part in outdoor sports from 3 March onwards. Training sessions and within-team games are allowed, but not competitions.
The 1.5 meter measure has thrown a spanner in the works of the Maastricht rowers for a long time. The pub has been closed since mid-October and only skiffs (single boats) were allowed on the water. Last January, the two-seater boats were added. Van Melle: “The distance between two rowers is 1.40 meters. On the advice of the Dutch rowing association, we have requested permission from the safety region: are we allowed in the boat as a couple? The answer was yes.”
Now everyone can get on the water again from 3 March, including boots with eight rowers. “We do ask to train with regular sports partners, so that not everyone rows with everyone. We do this on our own initiative. We haven't had any contamination from rowing or in our pub so far. Of course members have become infected, but that was in the domestic circle.”
What about the age limit? Does Saurus have members who are 27 or older? Van Melle: “All our active rowers are younger than 27.”