Meet the Society – D.S.R.V. Laga

Having celebrated its 140 year anniversary earlier this year, Laga is a student rowing club with a long and rich history.
Founded in 1876, Delftsche Studenten Roeivereeniging Lagais the second oldest rowing club in the Netherlands.

It was originally established as a sub-association of Delftsch Studenten Corps (DSC), a Delft student association. Although it is now an independent organisation, Laga still maintains close ties with DSC.

Since 1926 the club has been housed in a building on Nieuwelaan just across the canal from the TU Delft campus. According to club president Laila Youssifou, it was the first boathouse ever built in the Netherlands. “I love the vibe of the building, it’s so old and has so much history and its own habits,” she said. “But it also feels like home.” The building, which was listed in 2000 as a national monument, will undergo some renovations this year to meet the need for better facilities.

The club now has about 700 total members and a third of them are very active. During the recent OWee introduction week Laga received a record 453 applications, of which they could only accept 250 in a lottery. “Rowing is a very popular sport,” said Youssifou, a civil engineering bachelor’s student. She pointed out that many people have no prior rowing experience when they join. “Rowing is a sport that is heavy for your body. There’s a lot of stress on your spine so you can’t start too young,” she said.

Laga offers different classes of rowing, depending on the interest and abilities of the members. Some people participate at a more recreational level, while the more ambitious members aim for top level competitions like world championships and the Olympics. One example of this is Laga member and TU Delft mechanical engineering alumnus Olivier Siegelaar who was part of an eight-man team that won a bronze medal at the recent Olympics in Rio.

Youssifou said Laga is proud of its history and even though they are an open club these days they still hold onto their traditions. Although there is a social aspect, she noted that their main activity is rowing. “We want to create top rowers,” she said. Although there are no more spaces for new members at the moment, for anyone interested in joining Laga in the future Youssifou suggests being quick to apply at OWee next year.

This is part of our ongoing series Meet The Society which highlights different student groups and societies at TU Delft. If you’d like to suggest an organisation for us to cover, please email us at

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