After a number of summers during which we as Sovicos organized our outdoor training sessions on the fields next to the Zuiderpark sports campus, it was recently time to make the switch to the beach court at Steenwijklaan. Below is a small report of what preceded it, which issues have been resolved and are still under negotiation.
From multisport sandbox to permanent beach volleyball court
At the beginning of last season, we were approached by the municipality of The Hague with the request if we would be interested in moving our outdoor training sessions from the ZP to the beach court at Steenwijklaan.
Hmmm, let’s take a look in my file folder beachcourt Steenwijklaan. Many names were there at the time. I still remember the consultation with the then tc chairman Ron Scheepmaker, the municipality of The Hague, HKV and the football association HMC.
What has changed compared to then: Beach korfball turned out not to be as attractive. And given that HMC, after being removed from the competition by the association, was gone, not many beach soccer teams would rent the court.
In short, let’s first see whether the municipality want to help us to turn the then multi-sport sandbox into a permanent beach volleyball court. After some scanning it turned out that they had budget/time and, very important, willing employees for this.
With the entire package of effort and financial support within the Sovicos board, the choice was made and the move to our own beachcourt started.
Yes, the paper/mail traffic was still a lot, because for every part there is a different municipal department responsible. And yet, every week we came a step further and at some point you come across milestones. i.a. the rental agreement with the municipality, which means that we can use the court 24/7 throughout the year. The order of the permanent beach volleyball posts. The delivery of the equipment and the installation job in the blazing sun together with the maintenance department where foundation blocks are moved/placed with the help of excavators (see photos).
The first season on our own beach court
The first training sessions took some getting used to, because how do you set up such a system? Answer questions such as why do we actually have to clear the fields and posts? (See text below) Is there a first aid kit? (Yes). Etc.
And now after some months of training I still see people puzzling how it all works/should be built up. But the new normal (that you can build a field in 5 minutes) is well established and people have long forgotten that in the past we were busy building a field with straps and at least 3 people.
It was also noticeable that on one day there was a group who, after showering/changing clothes, went to drink a beer in the canteen of the Steenwijklaan and on the other day they walked straight to the bicycle. Probably one group is more thirsty than the other 😉
What could be better?
Let’s get to what can and should be done even better. After more than 10 years of use, the sand will be replaced in the autumn. And the sand that comes in will be more suitable for beach volleyball. What is also nice for the neighbors in the adjacent flat is that the sand is also less likely to blow away towards their balcony.
In addition, there is now a request for a wind and watertight storage facility, because the current storage area can no longer be made watertight, which means that the material is then exposed to water and sand. We hope to receive approval for this salvage around the fall. Which means this will also be a fact next summer.
Then there is a request towards the municipality to also provide the two long sides with fencing/entrance doors. If this can be achieved, the beach poles only need to be stored during the winter months.
To top it all off, the Sovicos beach committee was recently established to coordinate the indoor and outdoor beach activities. In the meantime, the new committee has already met (after the indoor beach trainings) and they will introduce themselves to you shortly.
We are therefore well on our way and will be able to make a flying start again in the spring/summer of 2023 with the upcoming adjustments.