Published January 2009
Past 2 weeks have been crazy here in the Netherlands. But that happens
when the waters get frozen and ice is thick enough to hold the thousends
of ice skaters. Past weekend they estimated that over 80.000 Dutch
skated on natural ice on Saturday and Sunday. Ofcourse then it's
ideal also to get attention ... so we as kicksledsport
not stay at the sideline.
As soon as the ice was thick enough the Dutch kicksled committee
organised a so called kicksledtry-out on Dec. 31 2008. A beautifull
day on Drontermeer in central Netherlands (near
Elburg). Sunny weather and lots of people tried
the kicksleds, which could be borrowed for a short perioud of time.
A photo gallery with pictures taken can
found here >
Two days later on Friday January 2d the kicksled promo team organised
again a tryout, but this time in south of Netherlands near Arnhem.
A great day. A bit foggy wet weather but great enthousiasm again
on the ice and ofcourse the so called "heeeeij what is that
?- effect" ...kicksled has in Lowlands.
Next day again activities. The national footbike organ in Netherlands
(NAF) organised a duatlon. 20km skating and 20 km footbiking. Just
a test 'thingy'. Brainstormed a week before, dropped a page online
and voila one has
a duatlon. 14 people took part just to try out and 7 people
helped out organising it. Conclusion this will be repeated in future!
Maybe it's something to do every winter. Because the skating part
was done on an outside 5 km artificial ice track (FlevOnice).
Unique in the wolrd. So we do not need real strong winter for it.
They can keep the 5 km track frozen if it's around 0-5C.
The duatlon took part in morning and after finish, lunch and a hot
cup of chocolatemilk all participaters joined the NAF kicksled committee
on the natural lakes nearby to try kicksleds.
Next day Sunday January 4th a historic momentum... the first
National Dutch Kicksled Championships took place on natural ice
in Netherlands. In mean while the skate hype dimmed that day because
the temperatures were warmer and there was some water on the ice
and rain. But the ice was still 8 cm so thick enough to organise
a Kicksled Championship (and we had no worries hundreds of skaters
blocking our tracks. So in a way good conditions).
We send out a press release (a few days before it) and a lot of
national press responded. That shows how ice crazy one gets in the
Lowlands in winter times. Everything which has to do with ice an
sport is hyped. We had almost more press then participaters. So
that was a bit scary at first when we announced that we would organise
a NC we had no entries and we had already 5 newspapers that told
us they would come an make photos. So that is a bit scary if you
have more press then entries. But on NC day our herous showed up
on the ice. (of which some never had used a kicksled before).
All in all a great event. It was cold, wet, windy... it was hystorical.
And we toosted afterwards in the nearby pub/restaurant in the harbour
of Elburg. Ofcourse one can not realy prepare such an event in a
climate like ours, because we organised it on very short notice.
Just 2 days before we released that NC would take place and then
you have the risk that not many will take part. Simply because of
the fact they have no kicksled or can not make time off on such
short notice. But it is essential to take first steps. And this
first NC in NL was for the history books.
We decided that the NC had to be battled out in an allround championship
of 200 m, 1 km and 10 km. (In future maybe we'll add longer distances
but we had not many experience kicksled riders at startline, so
we aimed for a do-able programme). And that all together gave a
In men's category there was a nice battle to see. Rik vd Molen won
first 2 distances and Rene Elzinga won the 10 km. And calculated
that in points made Rene Elzinga overall Kicksled Champion 2009.
In womens category young talent Maxime Reijne won the title. It
was her second time ever on a kicksled.
resultlist and point calculation can be found at www.autoped.nl/nk-stepslee.
More photos of the NC can be
found here >
Best regards, Thijza Brouwer
Kicksled Netherlands January 4th 2009 - Drontermeer
Maxime Reijne in her 1 km
Rene Elzinga (for first
time on a kicksled)
Here some digital press links:
And several articles in some nation wide papers like AD and METRO.
Erik de Groot giving interview
Maxime and Rosanne Reijne on TV giving interview about NC kicksled
Photos: Stephan Bouman and Gerben Koridon