Maastricht & UM Sports in 10 figures
|Amount (#) of inhabitants city||122 533|
|2||Amount (#) of students city / university||16 861 (2016-2017)|
|3||Total surface (m²) indoor facilities (University owned)||6 610m²|
|4||Amount (#) of staff members university (total)||4 734 (2015)|
|5||Amount (#) of staff members in sports||135 (2016)|
|6||Participation rate (%) students||29% ( < 31.01.2017)|
|7||Participation rate (%) staff||7% ( < 31.01.2017)|
|8||Amount (#) of classes organised on a weekly basis||54 different activities; 330 classes|
|9||Annual subscription price (€) (paid by student)||€83 – €182 (depending on package)|
|10||Percentage (% or €/student) of the total annual budget provided by the University||
Link to sports programme and timetables: https://www.maastrichtuniversity.nl/support/sports/um-sport-provision/timetables-and-times
Link to pricing: https://www.maastrichtuniversity.nl/support/sports/memberships
Introduction For our January feature University Sports Centre, we are travelling to Maastricht in the Netherlands where ENAS is also attending the kick-off meeting of the ‘Active Campus Europe’ project. The ACE project brings together 15 European Universities around project lead RWTH Aachen in a never before seen collaboration in the University context on a European scale. The project aims to develop a best practice handbook and common intervention to support the target of health promotion activities in the University context. All this happens with a clear focus on motivating inactive people to take start a more active life. The Maastricht University sport department, UM SPORTS, is very committed to this objective. This year they are celebrating the first anniversary of the brand new sports building. Their goal: creating an environment that stimulates not only to do sports but to take on an active lifestyle more generally. And it is spectacular. Just outside the main entrance, just across from the University hospital in a south-east neighbourhood of Maastricht called Randwijck, it is clear that we are in the Netherlands, hundreds of bikes and plenty more possibilities to park your two wheel go-everywhere vehicle. This is where we are kindly welcomed by Birgitte Hendrickx, Head UM SPORTS and Netty Bekkers, Department Head Customer Management & Communication UM SPORTS, who indicate that they also commute by bike on a daily basis, even today. It is -4°C, not very usual in the most southern point of the Netherlands, and roads look dangerously slippery. Maastricht is a small city, more of a combination of villages if we can believe our hosts, but boasts the European atmosphere. Heimat of the mother of all European Treaties, the Maastricht Treaty celebrating its 25th birthday, we are in the right place to celebrate European wide collaboration. And that is not a surprise as the neighbouring cities to Maastricht are located across country borders in Belgium (Hasselt and Liège) and Germany (Aachen). Birgitte and Netty explain what they are proud of in UM Sports and where they are still looking to improve.
What are you most proud of in UM SPORTS? “That’s an easy one.”, says Birgitte, “It has to be the combination we have created between studying, social activities and sports here in the UM SPORTS Centre. One year in, we feel that we have really been able to develop a cross-over within the student services with a building with multiple functions and a very welcoming and open atmosphere. People stay here the entire day: they use the learning spaces to study or work on group tasks, go for a sports break and have lunch in the Time Out Sports café.”
Was that a coincidence or part of the planning process? “The Sports Centre is a combination of an old and a new building, which have been joined together. The Time-out Café is situated in the centre (large hallway) to connect one with the other. We have kept this as open as possible and added a lot of windows to make the sports venues more connected to other areas. The old building was an office building. This means that whereas most projects end up with lack of space at the end of the building process: we had space left, office space to be precise. This space was partly transformed into the UM SPORTS offices, an Exercise Studio and a Body and Mind Studio but for the remainder of the space we decided to sit down with the student services department. This is where we developed this idea of learning spaces and it became a big hit. Although we have never advertised the possibility to work here, students have found their way.”
So how did you convince the University to make this facility investment? “We didn’t. The students did. We are proud to have a great collaboration with the students and they are a very important part of the UM SPORTS team. They rallied because they believed investing in sport facilities was important. We are just here to make it happen.”
So what is happening in 2017? “One year in our new building, we are at the end of a Business Plan, so our goal for 2017 is strategic renewal and further development and optimalisation of the organisational structures of UM SPORTS. The most important aspect of this, is to further develop UM SPORTS as an essential service provider in the University context, not only from the point of view of sports, but as an integral part of the entire University experience. This is very much in line with the ACE project to develop and active and healthy University environment for all rather than looking at the ones who are already involved in sports. Also there, we still have a great challenge ahead: getting the inactive involved, I’m sure we are not alone there.”
Would that be the greatest challenge you are facing? Reaching out to the inactive? [laughs] “I’m afraid my answer is more boring than this: our greatest challenge is finance. We continuously have to fight to keep our extensive programmes affordable for the students and feasible from an organisational point of view on the UM SPORTS side.”
What’s affordable? How much do the students pay on an annual basis? “We have chosen to let the students pay for what they receive based on the type of activities they are interested in. On top of a basic ‘Sign-Up’ membership they can either opt for the ‘Sports’ and/or ‘Gym’ add-on. The membership fees also lower with each month into the academic year so we don’t give students any reason to postpone their active ambitions into the new semester or year. The most complete package for students costs €182 on an annual basis. Separate price categories also exist for UM staff and alumni and a group of defined external UM relationships. There is no further access for external members.”
Can you phrase one advice for our fellow ENAS members: “It’s not the building but the human capital inside it that makes the difference”
And what does this mean for you? “We are very proud and fortunate to have been able to develop great facilities which support us to develop a great programme. But also before we had these facilities, we were doing great things because we can rely on an incredibly passionate team to develop the sports programmes. The students are an integral part of this team and we try to reflect the entire University community male/female, foreign/Dutch, into this team.
And then finally: what do you want to ask your ENAS colleagues? In the context of continuous internationalisation, we are very interested to learn more about the cultural differences that exist in the European and broader context. The Maastricht University has recently hit a very interesting number: 51% of the students come from abroad. We are very interested to learn what these percentages look like in other Universities and what kind of measures are taken to adapt to this international reality?
|Birgitte Hendrickx||Netty Bekkers|
‘Coachingscentre Mental Health’ is changing its name to ‘Mental Sportcoaching’. This was made public during the kick-off meeting, which was held in february at the (student)sportcentre Tilburg (UvT) and Eindhoven (TUE). According to initiator Nicole Ebben the name change was needed after one and a half year: “Mental Sportcoach better reflects the context of the University Sportcentres.”
Kelsey Nijssen (supervisor at location Eindhoven) thinks the new name is a great start. Early March all consultants were fully booked. “It is motivating to see how many people are sincerely interested in sport psychology. More people acknowledge the importance of the mental aspect in sports and try to put this in to practice.”
Nicole explains the past years evaluation is being discussed with the Radboud Sportcentre in Nijmegen. Nicole thinks the data looks positive. “I am really proud and it iss beautiful to see that students and graduates have developed so well. Due to this pilot in Nijmegen both Jitze Jouwsma and Kelsey Nijssen have been able to become supervisors in Tilburg and Nijmegen.”
Kelsey: “Besides a wonderful challenge this is the perfect opportunity to gain experience with people who practice sports and really want to change their lifestyle to influence their level of achievement. This gives a great deal of satisfaction.” Jitze adds: “Thanks to the expansion of this project I got the chance to gain experience as well together with a lot of enthusiastic students from Applied Psychology. I think it is a great compliment that I get to be responsible for the branch in Tilburg. “
Nicole also hopes Nijmegen becomes a fixed spot for the sportcentre and continues under the new name ‘Mental Sportcoaching’. Kelsey: “The coachingscentre is a win-win situation for both parties. All clients get top-notch personal coaching.” Jitze provides support for this view: “Graduates and students gain insights while employees, trainers and sportsmen get superb support for their mental process.” If you want more information, please send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The European Commission and the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) is organising an “Infoday” on the Erasmus+ Programme in the field of Sport. The Infoday aims to inform potential applicants about funding opportunities in 2017.
Speakers will give advice and tips on preparing and submitting proposals, and provide support with the financial aspects of funding.
Online web streaming for all sessions will be available on the day of the event (EN-FR-DE-ES-IT). No registration is needed to follow the web streaming. Follow this link: http://eacea.ec.europa.eu/erasmus-plus/events/sport-infoday-31-january-2017_en
Take part via Twitter using the hashtag #sportinfoday.
On 24th January 2017 the Erasmus+-funded project “Active Campus Europe” (ACE) was launched at the Provincial Government Building in Maastricht. The Province Governor of Limburg /The Netherlands, the Vice Rector Professor Doris Klee, RWTH Aachen University /Germany and the Vive-rector Professor Harm Hospers, University Maastricht/The Netherlands welcomed the ACE project members. They underlined the importance and relevance of the European health project for the University setting and the collaboration between the universities in times of doubts about the European Union.
“Active Campus Europe” is about a program for inactive people at Universities in Europe. University Sports activities shall support the target of health promotion activities at the University in order to motive inactive people to sports and physical activities. They should be educated taking responsibility for their own health care.
RWTH Aachen University successfully run a project “Health promotion and prevention for staff and students through physical activities and sport” from 2009-2011, inside the so called “INFORM”-program which was hosted by the German Federal Ministry of Health and the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture. Based on the project experience, RWTH Aachen University invited 15 Universities from Finland, United Kingdom, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, The Netherlands and Germany to create and implement a program for Europe. The Project contents are a collection of good practice models, a common intervention program and the evaluation of the program. In Maastricht the program details were discussed, a first collection of good practice models were made and a common intervention program – based on models at Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin – was chosen.
Ace will run until December 2018. All partners are enthusiastic to design a role model for University sport in Europe.
Aachen, den 27.01.2017
© Photo: Joey Roberts
Coaching office Mental Health will open two new locations in February 2017 in Tilburg and Eindhoven. The concept has successfully been tested in Nijmegen and was awarded with the Fontys ‘Think Bigger’ prize. Also Aachen (Germany) has showed serious interest in this initiative. This became clear during the annual ENAS (European Network of Academic Sports Services) conference, which took place from November 9 till 11 in Malta.
Due to the Fontys ‘Think Bigger’ award the Radboud Sportcentre has decided to nominate the project for an international (ENAS) award. Unfortunately the project did not win, however Nicole is very positive: “We received a lot of positive responses afterwards. Next year the project will be entered again.”
Except compliments, visiting the conference also produced another result. Nicole: “Fontys is now a member of this European Network. This is interesting for both Applied Psychology as well as HRM since we want to expand in the Netherlands, as well as abroad.”
The goal is to get more coaching offices at different Universities. Mental health has become an indispensable part of society and fits well in the sports directed settings like sportcentres at universities. According to Nicole the good thing about the sportcentres in universities is that both students and employees of those schools and different institutions are getting together. “That’s why it is a great thing that Eindhoven and Tilburg have opened a coachingsoffice.”
Do you want to know more?
The University of Tampere organises an International Staff Week for the staff members of all our Partner Universities on 6 – 9 June 2016. This year the International Staff Week will be organized together with Tampere University of Applied Sciences (TAMK).
Programme of the week includes five hours of Intercultural Communication workshops where the participants will increase their knowledge and awareness of culture and its influence on communication. During the week, participants will have an opportunity to benchmark different services and practices of the two universities and share views on topics related to their own work. The participants will choose one thematic track they wish to attend. One of the UTA thematic tracks is University Sports (Unipoli Sport).
The programme of the week takes place in the campuses of UTA and TAMK. The participation fee for the International Staff Week is 100 € which includes the training programme and all social events mentioned in the programme.
The registration for the week closes on 8 April. The electronic registration form is available at
The number of participants is restricted to 40. Therefore, we will primarily accept two participant per partner institution at maximum and may not be able to accept all applicants. We shall announce the list of selected participants to all applicants per e-mail by April 18.
Coordinator of international education
University of Tampere
International coordinator for staff exchanges
Tampere University of Applied Sciences
This year’s edition of the EAS Conference was held on 24-25 September at the University of Applied Sciences of Amsterdam (HvA) / School of Sports & Nutrition. The aim of the EAS (European Athlete as Student) is to develop policies, best practices, raise awareness on the necessity to offer opportunities for young people to combine athletic preparation and competition with their studies. These policies are known in Europe under the generic term of ‘Dual Career’.
Laura Capranica, President of EAS and Jacomine Ravensbergen, Chair of the domain ‘Exercise, Sports and Nutrition’ of the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, officially opened the Conference together. Mrs. Ravensbergen stressed that the University (HvA) gains athletes by having implemented the ‘Dual Career’ programme (Top Sport) that helps the youngsters during their studies but also afterwards by leading them to the labour market. The University developed a centre of Elite Sports and Education.
The presentation of Flavia Guidotti from the University of Foro Italico in Rome made a study of the actual situation regarding the number of scientific papers that are published on the specific topic of the ‘Dual Career’. How to combine sport and education when a national structure is not existing? Career transitions are a process that is dynamic, multidimensional, multilevel and multifactor. She insisted in her final remarks that the term ‘Dual Career’ is not always used to define projects that are implemented with the same aims and goals. It was very interesting as the topic has been developed only since a couple of years.
EAS President Laura Capranica & EAS Secretary-General Jörg Förster
The Conference was the opportunity for a number of High Education Institutions to present their own programmes such as the Catholic University of Murcia (Spain) which presentation focused on ‘Developing an innovative European Sport Tutorship model for the dual career of athletes (ESTPORT)’ or the University of Miitweida in Germany on ‘Dual Career as Educational Challenge in the European Environment of Sports’ which focused on a research project to create and implement new learning cultures.
Besides the single universities models, some other initiatives were introduced to the 70 participants of the Conference, such as the ‘Winner Education Model’ presented by Finland, ‘Twin’ by TASS, which is the organisation in charge of top-athletes in the UK or the ‘Gold in Education and Elite sport (GEES)’ presented by INSEP (France) and the University of Brussels (VUB) co-funded by the European Union in order to formulate recommendation on competences, instruments and methods to the EU and to develop minimum quality requirements at the European level. The Dutch Olympic Committee presented its programmes related to ‘Dual Career’ as well.
Agata Dziarnowska, representing the European Commission, stressed that the ‘Dual Career’ is one of the priorities for the ‘Sport and Education’ programmes of the EU. She stressed that DC could be a tool for different policies such as, social inclusion, unemployment and education. She underlined the importance of the GEES study. Finally, she insisted by saying that it is an outstanding issue because it covers, education, employment, it has a European dimension but also that the policies should be more ‘client oriented’ and must involve the social media.
To summarise, all participants focused on the flexibility needed by all partners to implement such programmes, that the relations between the sport federation, the academic institutions and the entourage are crucial, that there is a lack of studies and that it is a necessity to develop requirements and models at European levels. All these aspects and the EAS activities were presented by EAS President Laura Capranica and EAS Secretary-General Jörg Förster who is also a board member of the National University Sports Federation of Germany (ADH).
© Kole GJELOSHAJ, FISU; Edited by Margo de Lange
Recent outcome from the Expert Group on Health Enhancing Physical Activity: the recommendations emphasize the role of our Universities.
Read the full document here: http://ec.europa.eu/…/cooper…/expert-groups-2014-2017_en.htm
Join us in Berlin – don’t miss the early bird discount deadline.
On July 2nd 2015, the European Economic and Social Committee adopted a voluntary opninion on sport and European values at its 509th plenary session.
The document is a reminder of why we are all promoting sports at various levels.
Read it HERE.