The ACLO is the overarching sports organisation of which pretty much every student in Groningen is a member. For only a small price you have unlimited access to sports facilities during open hours and you can try out every – yes every – sport you can imagine. Also, all the Groninger student sports associations are connected to the ACLO. But if so many students visit ACLO daily, of which several are active in the board or committees, is there such a thing as the ACLO-culture? Reinier, the chair of the daily board of the ACLO, gives us the answer.
Before Reinier decided to become the leader of the board, he was actually not at all active within the ACLO. ‘No,’ he says with a guilty face. ‘I was an active member of the TAM, the tennis association of Albertus Magnus. I have been part of the Barcommittee and the Tennis Supporter Committee. What attracted me to the ACLO-board is that it’s a fulltime board, so I could go for it for an entire year. What’s also special, is that you get a lot of responsibilities as an unexperienced board-member. I think it’s cool that the RUG gives us so much freedom, however we do have to live up to that. But if we make a mistake, we luckily have the general board who can redirect us in the correct direction..
In case you don’t have the ambition to be part of the board, but you still want to become an active member, there are about ten different committees, which you can choose from. The PRaccie for example helps with promotion and organises activities, the SportCie organises different tournaments such as the beachvolleybal tournament and the futsal tournament. There’s also a GalaCie, a HealthCie and many other committees.
So there are plenty of events at the ACLO! During the Healthweek you can attend workshops about healthy lifestyle and sign up for a healthcheck. Also the ACLO organises the annual Lauwersloop. This is a relay race from Leeuwarden via Lauwersoog to Groningen with over fifty teams participating every year! Just before the Christmas holidays you can preemptively get rid of those Christmas-kilos during the ACLO lustrum. There’s a special timetable with variances on the regular sports, such as disco-aqua-aerobics, blacklight volleyball and frying-pan-tennis.
To you, this probably sounds as a proper student association with all those committees, activities and a student board. But is there also such a thing as the ACLO-culture? We asked mr. Chair: ‘The best way to describe it, is the ‘student-culture’. Almost every student in Groningen comes to us to exercise. In this sports centre you will only see students and all the associations that are connected to the ACLO consist of 100% students. So you do sports with students, arranged by students. When I compare it with the TAM for example, it’s not very different from the ACLO, since it’s also part of the ACLO. Actually everything is ACLO.’ Immediately after saying this, Reinier covers his mouth with his hand because of this somewhat boastful statement. ‘All right, not everything is ACLO, but you get my point’.
So the ACLO is for every student: the student who wants to try out a different random sport every week such as fencing or underwater hockey, the top athlete who profits from the topsport-facilities and –regulations, the student who joins an open hour weekly with his or her friends and the student who likes to do one hour of disco-aqua-aerobics every year. And Reinier? Does he exercise? Again the guilty expression appears. ‘Unfortunately it’s difficult to find the time for it myself.’ So the ACLO is also for the chairman who prefers mental exercise. From that perspective ACLO actually is everything.
By: Lucia Grijpink