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Jeroen Olthof: ”for sports I pull all the stops”

Datum: 12-07-2012

“In the two years that I am an alderman for, amongst other things, sports in Zaanstad, I’ve learned that sport is emotion. Sports and emotion fit well together. When you show emotion it gives energy and in the end chemistry. As an alderman it gives you faith. Therefore I pull all the stops for sports.” So says Jeroen Olthof, alderman of sports Zaandam.

 


Jeroen has learned how to swim in swimming pool ‘De Slag’. Because of his busy schedule he, unfortunately, does not have enough time to sport these days, so he tells me when we see each other in a beautiful new city hall.


“But I walk back and forth to work almost every day. I used to play soccer with soccer club ‘de Zilvermeeuwen’, but I have bad knees and that is why I cannot play for the club anymore. As alderman of sports I want people to exercise more, therefore I want to create facilities. We, as a community, have to accept that these facilities cost money. Off course we will look for possibilities to keep sports payable. For example, I want to stimulate the self-reliance of the club. I want to include them more in the exploitation of their accommodations, not only outdoor, but now also the indoor sports. The club will have more opportunity to develop and grow. They will form the ‘heart’ of the accommodation, which brings with it a big responsibility.


“Zaanstad is a luxurious city when I think about the 4 indoor swimming pools and the outdoor swimming pool we have. They are visited very well! We have the ambition to replace two of the pools, in this time of economy that’s a challenge. In the North of our city, the swimming pool has to be demolished and be replaced with a new in- and outdoor swimming pool. For this I would like to use the 2521 Simply Swimming concept. The philosophy of 2521 Simply Swimming really speaks to me.”


“In the middle of Zaandam remains the ambition to create a topsportscentre which includes a 50 meters swimming pool. But we have to stay realistic in these times of bad economy, and postpone the plans partly. However, the ambition remains strong. I think it is important for talents to be able to evolve and I want recreational sports and topsports to reinforce each other. Therefore, as a city, I seek co-operation with clubs(of sports), sports federations, schools and business.”


“I would like clubs to fulfill a part in the exploitation of accommodations of sports. This way they will give the accommodation more value. It will be a meeting place for the whole neighborhood. There comes a time the governments have to find more collaboration to keep sports payable. I foresee that we, as the city of Zaandam, from the beginning have to establish this in a good way. Off course I know that clubs have to be supported. But with their volunteers as a base and with support from professionals, we will come a long way. I already heard from several clubs that they are open to this.”


“After the summer vacation we will start the project in the North. At this moment we are still in a phase of market consultation.”