Skating is still allowed, as long as you don't ride the train

Skating is still allowed, as long as you don’t ride the train

Around the same time, Peter van Elsas and Mark Van routine have a sip of chocolate milk at the skating rink in Harlem. Veterans of the local Ski Association stood separately on the ice for an hour, although sometimes they skipped each other. With chocolate in hand, they talk a little. Usually in the cafeteria now along the path. “We’re happy with what’s still allowed.”

The skating rink in Haarlem is not completely covered and is therefore considered a site for outdoor sports. It is one of the few places where the strict lockdown announced on Saturday is allowed to be practiced. Moreover, amateur sport in the Netherlands has once again been hit hard. Competitions have been canceled, indoor sports are not allowed to continue and anyone over eighteen years of age can work out with a maximum of one other person. The exception is the higher sports and the sports under the age of eighteen.


But the ice rink, is still open. The limited space on the icy floor makes it look very crowded, because several pairs together make up hundreds of people. They all wander around the turns, just like the dozens of kids for whom lessons continue. On the large electronic board in the middle of the road and on the signs hanging on the boarding there is a great demand to keep the distance.

Along the track, the guarantee is the same in all seats: We can skate, so let’s go. One does not feel a bit of a burden. Van Elsas: “I feel less afraid especially when skiing than anywhere else. Suppose you come home, and there are sick children. I would find that worse.”

Van Elsas and Van Rueten understand that the rules have been tightened. “You’re no longer allowed to ride one train after another. That’s a good decision, but it makes it boring. Normally we’ve been skating with forty people. We can touch each other. We don’t do that now.”

Jean-Pierre Jeans statue

Ice rink manager Rob Cliffman sees from his first-floor office that it’s calmer on the first Sunday morning of closing than in previous weeks. “That might be a good thing, too,” he says. For him, it’s a compromise between continued sport and the responsibility that comes with it: How do you keep it safe for athletes? “The hard part is that it changes every day. I know how good sport is for you. I get angry if I don’t do it for a few days. But you have to look at what is possible. Don’t a lot of people come in?”

For now, Cliveman can decide that if he’s too busy, the doors will close. This is not the case this Sunday. However, he is already thinking about the next step: “It is definitely an option that we will work with as many visitors as possible again, just as in the previous shutdown.”

This will not in any case be a deterrent to skiers along the path, it will be a little more difficult to book an appointment. Club members continue to skate. Van Elsas: “Exercise is good for you, it keeps you healthy, and that’s all.” He paused to wave at someone from the club: “Yes, we’ll talk soon. Until next week!”

Fear of a new movement crisis

The fear among national sports authorities is that far fewer people will start playing sports again due to the lockdown. It is known from the previous lockdown that at least two million people started exercising much less. In recent weeks, that percentage has fallen even more, the NOC-NSF recently reported. More than a quarter of Dutch people report that they exercise less or even stop altogether as a result of the evening shutdown.

This has implications for public health. The previous closure took about 46,000 years of healthy life. This means that people age or develop health problems earlier.

Children are still allowed to exercise in the new strong closure. This went well with the director of the National Oil Corporation and the National Science Foundation, Mark van den Toel: “It is very important that children in particular continue to exercise. This is good for their health in every way. Although it is still painful that indoor sports It can’t go on. That eases the joy a little bit.”

Read also:

Cabinet opts for extreme closure. All measurements are consecutive

Outgoing Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Minister Hugo de Jong announced Saturday night that there will be another tight lockdown. The measures and advice will go into effect on Sunday. Read it all straight here.

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