My name is Lytske van Wijngaarden, I am 23 years old and hope to complete my bachelor in Health Sciences before the summer. I have been living in Maastricht for almost four years now. I started in an old student house with eight other students but currently I live in a spacious apartment with two other girls from Saurus.
Before the INKOM, I had never heard of Saurus or the existence of student rowing associations in general and how big that world is in the Netherlands. In any case, I did not know whether I wanted to join a large association; I had certain prejudices which I did not support. But when I spoke to several members of Saurus, I couldn’t help but admit that I immediately felt welcome within the association. I also saw more diversity than at any other association in Maastricht and the rowing really appealed to me. Not only because I always enjoyed sports, but because I noticed how it brought a connection through more than just drinking and partying together.
When I tried rowing for the first time during one of the rowing clinics in the INKOM, it left me wanting more. I still had my doubts about the obligations and the student traditions, but they quickly disappeared because it just seemed like a lot of fun to me.
What has been your best experience within Saurus so far?
That’s a tricky one! The first thing that comes to mind is winning a competition as a race rower together with my team at the “Winterwedstrijden”, a race of three kilometers in which all the boats start with a thirty seconds gap between each other in Delft. The daily trainings we endured, the excitement before the race, crossing the finish line and seeing how our coaches on the side cheered as they saw the results. “Yes!” they shouted, and then the relieve and hugs followed in our boat. An incredible feeling. I will never forget that day. On the other side, pushing eight Saurus ladies to their limits in an 18-meter long rowing boat as a coxswain in a side-by-side race on the Amstel really gave a kick as well!
Besides the rowing and coxing, I have been part of the Photo Committee for almost four years now; a nice group of enthusiastic photographers with various experience who can capture the most beautiful moments on Saurus and all the rowing competitions in the Netherlands (see our Facebook page: Fotocie Saurus). We even created a nude calendar last year.
I also went as a PR/ Social media photographer to Boston in the USA with a ladies team from Saurus who participated in the Head of the Charles Regatta, the largest international rowing competition in the world.
In my first year, I was also part of the committee that organises all Saurus activities in de INKOM. Together with two other committee members, I was assigned to organise the Saurus open party; arranging the location and DJ’s, the decoration, promotion, ticket sale; everything that is involved in such a large-scale event. It was all new to me, but we managed to do it very well. Perhaps being in charge on the evening itself was the most fun.
What has Saurus brought you?
This is going to be cliché, but honestly just a super fun and valuable student time! I made a lot of friends, partied, learned to lead and to organise, but the most valuable thing was experiencing the life of top sport, something that is not so accessible in other sports. Challenge yourself, be amazed with what your body can do, discipline, planning, productivity, perform as a team, learn to win and lose, and above all a lot of fun!