Top sports school opens brand new boarding school: “We want to give our young people every opportunity to realize their ambitions, as a top athlete and student” (Antwerp)

Wilrijk

A stone’s throw from the top sports school in Wilrijk, eighty top sports students have moved into their brand new boarding school. Not only the proximity is a great asset. The boarding school focuses on the specific needs of the students, with attention to healthy nutrition, discipline and structure, but also the possibility to relax between training and lessons.

Close to the Antwerp top sports school, on the Edegemsesteenweg in Wilrijk, a brand new boarding school opened on 1 September for top sports students. The official inauguration took place on Tuesday, in the presence of Antwerp Alderman for Education, Jinnih Beels (Vooruit) and the Flemish Minister of Education and Sport, Ben Weyts (N-VA).

The boarding school consists of two buildings where a total of one hundred top sports students can stay. Every young person has their own room. The study and relaxation areas are shared, as is the dining room. “We especially want to give our students a warm home,” says Wim Serneels, manager of the boarding school. “Together with the sports federations and our team of educators, we give them every opportunity to realize their ambitions, as a top athlete and student. The daily schedule is more flexible, as the students train often and at different times. And the food is also being adjusted, in consultation with the sports federations.”

Wim Serneels, manager of the boarding school of the Antwerp Topsport School — © Joris Herregods

Top sports school Antwerp has about 260 young people with a top sport status in judo, basketball, football, tennis, snowboarding, figure skating, swimming or taekwondo. They combine their studies with high-level sports. They get 20 hours of general subjects and 12 hours of top sport.

Until last school year, most top sports students stayed at a boarding school in Edegem, where they left for the school by bus. The fact that the new boarding school is located a few minutes’ walk from the top sports school is also an important plus. “It makes everything more combinable”, say basketball players Noor Devos (16) from Ostend and Kyra Brundoncx (16) from Mol. “We can now sleep longer, which is important to recover sufficiently after heavy training. We don’t have much free time anyway and we have to put the time we have into our studies. So the less time we lose moving, the better.”

Kyra Brundoncx (16) from Mol and Noor Devos from Ostend — © Joris Herregods

Before the school day has really started, the top sports students have already completed two hours of training. And also in the evening it is fun to train. The fact that the busy schedule is taken into account at the boarding school is very much appreciated. “The fact that they are very flexible in when we go in and out is really an added value,” says judoka Mattias Wellens (17).

“It’s a new building, so that’s nice too,” adds snowboarder Evy Poppe (18). “And it is really intended for top sports students, with a very clear structure and discipline. I’m also glad we can retire to our own room to relax a bit.”

From January 1, the boarding school can be used by the sports federations associated with the school during weekends and school holidays.

Mattias Wellens (17) and Evy Poppe (18)

Mattias Wellens (17) and Evy Poppe (18) — © Joris Herregods

The top sports students each have their own room in the boarding school.

The top sports students each have their own room in the boarding school. — © Joris Herregods

There are also several relaxation areas for the young elite athletes.

There are also several relaxation areas for the young elite athletes. — © Joris Herregods

One of three outdoor terraces.

One of three outdoor terraces. — © Joris Herregods

Flemish Minister of Education and Sport, Ben Weyts (N-VA) is guided by Wim Serneels, manager of the boarding school.

Flemish Minister of Education and Sport, Ben Weyts (N-VA) is guided by Wim Serneels, manager of the boarding school. — © Joris Herregods

© Joris Herregods.

The article is in Dutch

Belgium

Tags: Top sports school opens brand boarding school give young people opportunity realize ambitions top athlete student Antwerp

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