The coronavirus has cleared out the calendars of elite athletes. How long they will remain empty is difficult to predict. Who are the student elite athletes of the UG? How are they getting through this crisis and how are they staying fit? Today, we are talking to athlete Rianne Beuling.
‘I am Rianne, I live in Heerenveen and I am in my second year of the BSc in Business Administration, with a specialization in Technology Management. When I was eight years old, I joined a friend’s athletics practice to see if it was a sport I might like to do myself, and that turned out to be the case. When you start doing athletics, you participate in all events but a few years ago, I decided to specialize in hurdling and I also sprint frequently. I tend to participate mainly in the 100-metre hurdles and the 100 and 200-metre sprint.’
‘It is not too difficult to combine the two. I think Business Administration is a degree programme that lends itself well to being combined with something else, like an elite sport. I do run into trouble with the UG timetable sometimes. Many of my classes are in the late afternoon or in the evening and this often coincides with my athletics practice. Because of this, I often have to skip lectures. I try to schedule seminars for times that work better for me. Thankfully, many lecturers are willing to help me with my schedule, which I’m very grateful for.’
‘I don’t have clear plans for my future. With regard to my studies, I am not entirely sure yet what I would like to do once I’ve graduated. I would definitely like to do a Master’s degree programme but I haven’t got a clear sense of the type of work that I would like to do. With regard to athletics, I hope to be able to join the sub-top of the Netherlands this year or next year (the top eight finalists in the Dutch Championships). Truly progressing in the sport is going to be difficult.’
‘I think the coronavirus is affecting everyone’s life at the moment, including mine. All training sessions have been cancelled, just like all study-related activities. That takes some getting used to. At first, I had hoped that we would still be allowed to train in groups of two (in compliance with all the rules), but the running track is closed for everyone. It’s the uncertainty that’s bothering me the most. You don’t know how long this is going to last and if the outdoor season will take place at all. It is more difficult to train without a clear goal in mind. Thankfully, my trainer has designed an adapted schedule for me. I now train mainly in forests or simply at home. I am very glad we still get to go outside, for now.’
‘Keep moving, whatever you do. In these times, it is important to keep moving and get fresh air. By now, there are enough online workouts available for you to do at home, and you could always go for a walk. We may be in this situation for quite some time yet – make the best of it!’
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