Behind the screens: visiting Janneke of the materials committee

This post is also available in: Dutch

It’s Monday, cold outside, so Janneke and I warm our hands with a nice cup of tea while we settle in the canteen of the Sports Center in the Zuiderpark. Every Monday, Janneke trains with Ladies 5 in the Zuiderpark, so I stopped by to chat with her about the materials committee. But, as always, we will first talk about Janneke herself.

Who is Janneke?

Janneke comes from that very nice city in the far north, namely Groningen. Why The Hague then? Because Janneke came here to study. She started with movement technology, but eventually went to study the PABO. She has lived here since 2005 and has never wanted to leave. Logical of course. And yet I ask why. “The Hague has become my city. I have more here than in Groningen since I spent my student days here. The beach also helps enormously, of course”. I totally agree with her. Beach & city, a unique selling point. Eventually, Janneke became a teacher in Transvaal, where she teaches many children with a language deficiency. And a language delay means that where children normally know 2000 words, these kids know 100. This is due to their home situation, because Dutch is often not spoken there. “I can mean so much to them, that’s why I like the work so much” and I fully understand that. It’s great that Janneke does such beautiful and important work.

And of course she also does great work for Sovicos. Janneke has been living in The Hague since 2005, but only started playing volleyball at Sovicos in 2011 and after about 3 years she became a volunteer.

She first did this at the activities committee and the YouthTC, but unfortunately she had to stop because this was too time-consuming. She then did nothing for two years, until it started to itch again to give something back to the club, something small-scale. And she found that in the materials committee. “Being a volunteer at the materials committee means peaking twice a season and doing small jobs in between”. And because it’s not too much work, she also arranges the bar services.

What exactly does the work at the materials committee entail?

“Well, that’s pretty easy,” says Janneke, taking a sip of her tea. Twice a year they do the administration about the balls. This means that they must ensure that the balls (and other materials) are in order, and for example, order new balls if a ball is punctured. They also have to check whether all other materials (think of the nets, posts, etc.) are in good condition. Sometimes she comes to the hall an hour early to inject air to some balls.

At the beginning and at the end of the season, Janneke and Firoz (with the help of Vincent Sikkes & Vincent Lugtenburg) spend two whole days checking the balls. “As you know, all balls have a number. These numbers are, in addition to the balls, also in a large Excel file so that we can see at the end of the year which balls have been lost”. They then pull all the balls out of the closet to check whether the numbers on it match with what is in the Excel file. The balls are also checked to see if they are too old to be used. Balls that are too old are replaced by new ones (the written-off balls are given a new destination for example a volleyball school in Surinam) and of course the balls are inflated. She doesn’t have to do much for beach volleyball, yet. Vincent Lugtenburg is more concerned with that, such as contact with the municipality about the Sovicos beach court.

Fun and less fun about the materials committee

“And that’s about it,” says Janneke cheerfully. Because it is only a bit more work twice a year, Janneke can combine it with her job well. But I wonder if she likes it too. “It is of course my dream to go through Excel files,” she jokes. Like many other volunteers, Janneke also finds it important to give something back to the club. And this (including the bar services) is manageable for her.

Is there anything she doesn’t like? Yes, of course! “It is sometimes a shame to find out that teams add an extra number to a ball, or they take a training ball and add it to a team bag because they are missing a ball. That’s really not necessary. If you miss a ball, we can solve it together.”

Last but not least, the bar services

While we drink a last sip of our tea, we deviate from the materials committee. We are talking about something else that Janneke does, namely; the division of the bar services. Yes, of course those bar services do not divide themselves. Janneke is behind it. “I fill in what team does what bar service at the start of the season. That’s about two evenings of puzzling. The editors then put it on the site and I email all the tasks. Rob – member of the board of association affairs – is then the one who forwards the tasks to all teams every week”.

Janneke has been doing this since this season to take some pressure off Rob and she can combine it well with her other task.

Super nice that Janneke takes on these two important tasks. We chatted a lot and now it’s time for Janneke to train. And for me to … do nothing, cause it’s Monday.