WaHo and its history

In the 90’s the Wageningen University was not a university yet, it was called “Landbouwhogeschool”, the name changed from 1986 to the “agricultural university”. In 2000 the name was changed again, to Wageningen University and lastly it got the name “Wageningen University and Research”. The name v.v. WaHo stands for volleyball association Wageningen Hogeschool.

All teams in the 90’s were playing their games in purple shirts with grey sleeves and a purple short. When the supply of these shirts stopped, the General Members Meeting decided to change the current outfit. In those years, the General Members Meetings were often held during an internal tournament on a thursday evening in the Bongerd. These days the rules were not as strict. For example, I remember that the gentlemen 3 team was playing in flashy pink shirts, which was later also done by the first gents team. If they started a game, the were standing in a circle and the captain yelled: “We welcome the opponent, the referee, the public and ourselves” after that the team yelled “hiep hoi”.

Team sports among students was in the ‘70/’80 very popular and got a boost when in 1978 the own sporthal “de Bongerd” got in use. The word ‘Bongerd’ stand for the word boomgaard (apple garden), I remember that I stole some apples at this place when I was a little kid. The best years considering the amount of members was around 1992/1994. WaHo had 200 student members and approximately 40 non students. That was possible in that time, because every student association was allowed to have 10 percent non student members and from 1992 even 20 percent were allowed to be non-student members. A non -student was the secretary of WaHo for many years. Around 2001 this rule was abolished by the students sports foundation Thymos. Before 2001 Thymos was called SLW (Sportstichting Landbouwuniversiteit Wageningen), from then on it was only allowed for students to join WaHo. When this happened, almost the complete gents 1 moved to Invicta, where they were able to promote to 3rd division.

In the last century, the very good students studied for at least 5 years. Students who were studying for 7 years were no exception. I even have been giving training to (and laughed a lot with) students which were in their 10th or 11th year. On every thursday evening, the complete hall was for WaHo, but besides that we also gave trainings in other sports halls like sports hall ‘De Aanloop’. The trainings on Thursday evening were from 17.00 to 00.00 and during exams, you were able to start showering if the sports hall was ready for the exams of the day after that. That means that thick mats had to be rolled out, from the outside to the middle of the hall. After which the tables and chairs had to be placed in the hall in a particular way. Caretaker “Fat Theo” then came with a stick placing the first row and the other tables has to be adjusted to this. Only if the table numbers were placed on the tables, everybody was allowed to go to the showers. Surprisingly no students were complaining about this. Of course the teams which were starting the first training, had to take care for removing the tables form the hall. After sweeping the floor the fields were built again. Normally, Flip and me were giving training to three teams at the same time. Every team consisted of 9 players. After a while, students started to give training as well. A nice detail was that also by that time, there was a waiting list for WaHo. Because of that, from 22:30 to 24:00 2 fields were available for open recreational trainings for students with sports rights. Even at this late time, never less than 30 students participated, which really liked to train! The student sports had too few space available for all the students. For example, we were giving fitness training in a fitness hall for more than 40 participants. In the winter the sweat was dropping from the windows!

In 1994 WaHo had 16 gents teams and 11 ladies teams in the competition. The funny part is that gents and ladies started playing in the first study year in the lowest team, and at graduating were playing in the first teams.

As well the ladies as the gents had played 3rd division for some years. The ladies even played promotion matches for 2nd division.

Another thing to pay attention to is the turbulent years at the end of the last century. The pressure to study was improving and the study grant was abolished. The ‘performance grant’ was introduced and the 10% regulation was going to be abolished. Many student associations wanted to leave the University (a.k.a. Bongerd) and wanted to become independent as a non-student association. Also WaHo had discussions and meetings about this and almost WaHo became independent from the university. WaHo almost followed the football association GVC, which became independent from the university. The facilities would became worse and the contribution fee would be raised. Luckily, the plan of becoming independent was abandoned at the last moment.

written by Jacques van Leersum