‘A sound mind in a healthy body’ is a common expression these days, taken from an ancient Roman poet. Many over the last two millennia have found this maxim true and it’s safe to say that many students in Groningen live by it: They follow a study programme and play a sport on a regular basis. To accommodate this there are no less than fifty-five student sports clubs in Groningen!
For starters there are many clubs for internationally famous sports such as football, basketball, volleyball. Since these sports are practiced by many there are also some international teams active in Groningen. A sport specifically popular amongst students, made famous in Oxford and Cambridge, is rowing. Just like with our English counterparts there is an annual rowing regatta called the Varsity, taken very seriously by students active in rowing. In Groningen there are two large student rowing associations G.S.R. Aegir and A.G.S. Gyas. The former was founded as early as 1878! When coming to Groningen you can recognize them most student sports clubs by an acronym with the letters G.S. meaning that they are a ‘Groningen Student’ sport association.
Groningen wouldn’t be in The Netherlands if there weren’t also speed-skate clubs. Though the weather may be chilly at times it isn’t always cold enough in the winter for the water to freeze. That’s why these clubs practice on the ice-rink in the North of Groningen. On the other side of Groningen lies a lake which is used for ice-skating when it is cold enough. During the summer months when it’s just a large bulk of water there is a different sport club active on the lake. Then it is used for sailing, historically a popular sport in the Netherlands.
These large amount of clubs specifically for students are the result of the large student population in Groningen. While this may not be surprising there is one feat which might. They are not just clubs for students; they are also mostly run by them. Just as student associations they have boards for which students can apply. Expect to learn a lot when you’re a member of a board!
The motto ‘a sound mind in a healthy body’ is also taken in a social perspective by most of these clubs. They do not only create sporting possibilities but also organize various social get-togethers. Many of them have committees for you to join and organize other events for the club while being a member.