Will Delft be the best students’ sports city this weekend?

During the Dutch National Student Championships, over two thousand athletes will compete for the title of Student Sport City 2022. Three Delft student participants look ahead.

From left to right: soccer player Joachim Bron, cyclist Twan van Schie and handballer Thijs van Splunter. (Photos: Sam Rentmeester / Compilation: Delta)

This year Delft is co-organising the Dutch National Student Championships (GNSK) in which more than 2,000 athletes compete for the title of ‘Students Sports City 2022’. The three day GNSK will be held on 10, 11 and 12 June at Sportcampus Zuiderpark in The Hague and at X TU Delft.

Three Delft students, handballer Thijs van Splunter, footballer Joachim Bron and cyclist Twan van Schie, look ahead to the tournament. 

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Twan van Schie. (Photo: Sam Rentmeester)
Who: Twan van Schie, bicycle racing
Study: Industrial Design Engineering, strategic product design, second year master’s


Do you cycle individually or in a team?
“Both. There are five of us in WTOS. We do both individual and team competitions. There are four types of competition. In the ‘head to head’ you start with four competitors and one drops out after each round. The one that remains sets the finishing time.



In the sprint you sprint one to one for 200 metres from standing still and the winner continues. In the points race there are 10 laps with a sprint on every second lap. And lastly, there is a regular route of about 35 kilometres. The first three parts are completely different to normal competitions. That’s really cool.”

What are your strong points?
“I’m still exploring them. I’m not exceptional in anything. I have cycled my whole life. At a certain point I swapped football for rowing but stopped that to put all my effort into cycling.”

What do you think your chances are?
“Quite high. There are some fast guys in the team, each with his own qualities. In our team we help each other wherever we can. We really started to gel as a team this season. We trained a lot together in small groups, during Covid, but there were no competitions. Now the calendar is completely full again. Fabulous.”

Thijs van Splunter. (Photo: Sam Rentmeester)
Who: Thijs van Splunder, handball
Sports teacher at TU Delft and trainer at DSHV Torius
Study: Construction Management Engineering, final phase master’s


What team will play at the GNSK?
“Over the last few years we have looked beyond Torius to the wider TU Delft. We are trying to build a strong team by looking outside our network. And we have been successful. We won the last GNSK which could go ahead, in 2019. I will join as one of the 14 players.”

How important is the GNSK for you?
“We are trying to find the right balance. We may go far but we have not done a huge amount of preparation and we definitely don’t miss any parties. We would like to win, but not at the cost of everything else. We may take it a bit more seriously this year because we want to keep our title in our own city.”

What are your chances?
“We don’t really know the level of the other teams, and definitely not after two years without the GNSK. We may play at a higher level, but if we don’t win we will still have had a good weekend.”

Is the fun of the sport back after Covid?
“Definitely. Everyone is enjoying themselves enormously. It was not hard at all to find enough good players who wanted to play. Everyone is happy to be able to play a tournament together after the season. We are really looking forward to it.”

Joachim Bron. (Photo: Sam Rentmeester)
Who: Joachim Bron, indoor football
Study: Aerospace Engineering, second year bachelor’s


What team will play at the GNSK?
“We all play in FC Tutor’s first men’s team. There are 15 of us in the team, but now we play with six. We are joining in for fun and because we love indoor football, though it would be nice to win something.”

What do you think your chances are?
“I don’t know how many teams are joining, but I think we stand a good chance. Erasmus University apparently has a very good team. I think they even play at top level. That will be a challenge.”

Has everything gone back to the way it was before Covid?
“It is much more fun now. I joined Tutor in 2020 and was one of the few. We could only play games and train with each other, but I really wanted to play football. Competition football resumed this season and I have played more matches than ever. We play in the main class and were hoping to go up a level. That didn’t work out, but it was still a good season.”

Are you looking forward to the weekend?
“Yes, of course. It’s a great initiative. It’s good that they have spread it over two days and that they are also providing food. It sounds like it is very well organised. You can come, eat and play. And watch other sports in between.”

Jimmy Tigges / Redacteur Sport

Editor Redactie

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