Corona turns Van Lint week into geocaching event

The Van Lint week was supposed to take place at the end of December but optimism about corona rules easing by mid-May led to a date change. Misplaced optimism, alas, as starting May 17th the organizing committee is running a different program to the customary indoor competition. ‘A pity,’ says the committee, but there is plenty of enthusiasm for the alternative week involving a geocaching event.

photo Alexander Raths / Shutterstock

“While indoor sport is not an option, the Van Lint week cannot go ahead in its old format,” says committee member Randor Bongers. As a now former board member of the Eindhoven Student Sports Federation (ESSF), Bongers appreciates that times like these demand creativity. Bongers was part of the board in 2019-2020, the year in which the pandemic hit. “To avoid crowds, other events such as the Batavieren Race have also been organized differently, but this has not depressed participant numbers. On the contrary, for that event there were more sign-ups than in recent years.” In short, organizing alternative sport weeks fans creativity.

And the metamorphosis of the Van Lint week into a geocaching event is down to this creativity. “Geocaching is an outdoor sport/game that involves the use of a GPS receiver or simply a cell phone. Using coordinates, participants have to find a particular object or location. Once there, they are given the coordinates for the next step, and so on.” To this the committee has added another element: “Participants have to get from point A to point B in as original a way as possible. With the theme ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ that shouldn't be too hard,” says Bongers. Participating teams have the whole week to complete the route. “So it's not only a question of who covers the route in the fastest time but also how the route is covered.”

“We hope to have at least thirty teams. Teams have up to and including May 15th to register and we have received a lot of great reactions and a fair number of sign-ups.” This is already prompting noises about organizing the Van Lint week in this way more often. “That's something for the future but there is certainly scope for change.” Bongers thinks all the enthusiasm is partly due to “the fact that this event is finally going ahead. It is a bright spot on the horizon after so many sporting activities having been cancelled, and don't forget that the weather is going to pick up. Besides, isn't it just fun to get out and do an activity again with your friends and study mates?”

Share this article