‘Toer Skating Elfstedentoer’ at Kardinge: “Let children with disabilities skate with their friends”

Every child who is 12 years old must have skated at least once. That is the goal of the Sven Kramer Academy. Stichting het Gehandicapte Kind has teamed up with the Sven Kramer Academy to really make this possible for all children. Inge Vos from the foundation is proud.

Hi Inge! Getting all children to play sports together…
“That’s really the idea. In the Netherlands there are already all kinds of projects that encourage sports for children with disabilities. But often these sports activities are separate and never together. With this project we want to ensure that children with disabilities can play sports together with their friends who do not have a disability. The first results are very positive. On February 4th we will come to the Kardinge skating rink to offer this in Groningen.”

To get it all clear. How did this idea come about?
“This actually occurred in the winter of 2021. There was a period when skating was possible, and that opportunity was used extensively. What we saw is that children with disabilities could not participate. They stood by and watched their brothers, sisters and friends enjoy themselves on the ice, but they could not join. That’s how the ball started rolling.”

The foundation was laid in Heerenveen, right?
“Yes. But there is one more step ahead. As a foundation, we work together with various athletics associations. A frame has been developed to give children with disabilities the opportunity to practice athletics. We also needed such a frame for ice skating. It was also custom-made, and it was very nice that the prototype was actually a really good basis right away. This was subsequently tested in Heerenveen, where we collaborated with the Sven Kramer Academy. They have a lot of knowledge and expertise on how to teach children to skate . What does such a frame look like? It consists of a seat with three irons underneath, so the kids can really slide and experience the fun of being on the ice.”

And can you say it got a little out of hand after that?
“We got in touch with a mother who heard about our pilot. She immediately became very excited and said that her son would also like this very much. She then asked if we would also come to the Rotterdam region. And it was here that the Samen Skating Elfstedentour was rolled out. To give you an idea of ​​the success. In Heerenveen, as a result of the clinic, more and more children are taking classes at the Sven Kramer Academy.”

You will come to Kardinge on 4 February. What will it look like?
“The clinic we offer is for all children. So a child with a disability can bring a sister or a friend who does not have a disability. This is how we connect. And the effects are great. Parents see their children participating in something together. They see their child, who they thought would never be on the ice, now gliding across the ice. It is so beautiful and it also releases a lot of emotions. The connection that everyone is equal is very important to us.”

Now you call it an Elfstedentour. A reference to the Elfstedentocht, a heroic skating trip that reminds me of stamping, clunking and sidestepping…
“Ha ha. What we offer at the clinic are lots of fun games. It consists of a beautiful course where the participants have to pass under a bridge in a playful way, they have to slalom and they have to stop in front of a hole. The clinic, including skating lessons, is run by Sven Kramer Academy. At the end, the participants receive a very nice medal.”

Now this is a time where you also say a lot, right?
“Yes. I already told you that it was followed up in Heerenveen. We hope that skating associations in Groningen are also on board. That they pick up and implement this concept so that children can enjoy the fun you can have the ice together. That’s our goal. And it would be very nice if that glove was picked up.”

‘Skating together Elfstedentour’
Two clinics are offered at the Kardinge skating rink on 4 February between 1.15pm and 3.15pm. All children between the ages of 5 and 12 are welcome. Participation is free after registration via this website. There is room for 40 children in total, with a frame for twenty children. fstedentoer is visiting this winter.

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