Sports day


Over the past few months quite some people have started in my department and then of course it is a challenge to build up a nice team again. When a few weeks ago one of the PhD students cautiously asked if I might be willing to act as coach during the sports day, I immediately said “yes, but only if I don't have to do anything”.

After all, sports are not my thing. I used to play many sports, from gymnastics to underwater hockey. I was even a member of Totelos for a few months because my roommate was a board member, but I can count the number of times I have successfully kicked a ball on one hand. That also goes for the number of broken windows.   

Anyway, there we were on the field in front of Flux last Thursday. Team Process Analytics, dressed for bad weather, ready for the “battle” against 71 other teams. Our ambition was to make the top 70 and I can give you a spoiler: we did. We found out that morning that we had already beaten last year's winner. In fact, they were late in registering and since they are on our floor, they will probably hear about that for a while.  

As coach, I made sure we arrived at all the games on time, and when it came to the rope swing, I just stood in the tub of water to hand the rope to my colleagues. After this game we were all soaking wet. We spent the rest of the afternoon in the bright sunshine, so by the time we had a closing drink at Hubble we were all dried up again.

The FNV was handing out drinks and when we took advantage of that, I immediately got a T-shirt shoved into my hands. I have been a member for 15 years. During the barbecue I got quite a few comments about that shirt, apparently it does attract attention if you are a member of the union.  

Participating is obviously more important than winning, but when the results were announced it was nice to see that we more than lived up to our ambitions. Finishing in 45th place at a sporting event, you can really be very satisfied as a computer scientist.  

I am already looking forward to next year's sports day. Hopefully with just as nice weather and just as nice a team.  

Boudewijn van Dongen is a professor of Process Analytics at TU/e. The views expressed in this column are his own. 

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