Avalon

Meet Avalon! This is the student swimming and water polo association of Tilburg. We spoke with Nathan and Marijn. After the corona crisis, the board of the association is in good spirits. You can tell that from everything. And, it goes well with the association. Several new events have been set up! They are proud of their sport and not without reason. Are you curious whether Avalon is something for you? Then read on! 

WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT DO YOU DO AT AVALON?

"I am Marijn and I am chairman at Avalon. That means that I try to keep things running. We want to grow this year and become more professional. We are in Brabant, so we also have to keep it sociable. I'm responsible for that too."

"I'm Nathan and I'm the swim commissioner. I take on the role of technical coordinator in the field of swimming. I am mainly responsible for training sessions. I also organise the somewhat bigger events."

WHAT IS AVALON IN THE BASICS?

"Originally we were founded in 2011 as a water polo club. Swimming was added about 5 years ago. We now have around 85 members. We are trying to grow."

"The most important thing for Avalon is that it also has to be really sociable. Because we are younger and smaller, everyone knows each other. That makes the activities and training sessions very fun. In addition, we are a sports club, so we try to be very professional in our approach. There is always a trainer present and we have just arranged new equipment, for example. We are taking small steps to make the club more professional."

"It is also very important to say that every level can participate. For both water polo and swimming, it doesn't matter if you are a beginner or a pro. You can join us. That also applies to the competitions."

Nathan gives an example: "At the last competition there was a boy from another club who had to swim a 400 metres for the first time. He was really struggling, but did his best. At one point, everyone was cheering him on. And so were we! It's not about being the best, but about pushing yourself and improving yourself. It's a race against yourself."

WE ARE TAKING SMALL STEPS TO MAKE THE ASSOCIATION MORE PROFESSIONAL. WE WANT TO EVENTUALLY COMPETE WITH THE TOP!

What are the club championships?

"We have the club championships twice a year. A big part of it is 'most improved'. We look at how many seconds you improved. That really typifies the culture at Avalon. Maintaining your level is good, but it is also important to work on yourself. In this way you can also create a bit of competition between good and lesser swimmers."

WHAT DOES AN AVERAGE MONTH LOOK LIKE?

"Depending on whether you swim or do water polo, you train three or two times a week. On Thursdays we have a regular activity twice a month. One activity is baking pancakes and then going for a walk. The other activity takes place in our regular pub: De Prins! We also try to organise an extra activity such as a beer bike or a Christmas dinner."

"Many of our members also have groups of friends within Avalon. They also undertake multiple activities and do fun things together. Often they also go on holiday together."

WHAT ARE THE HIGHLIGHTS OF THE YEAR?

"The highlights are the matches! There are always at least four of them. The matches are with the sister associations. Those really are the matches you work towards in training. You then go to another city, where there is a big party and you stay overnight. So that's really a weekend away."

"It's on a club basis, so you swim for your club. The results are then combined in a certain way so that you have a score. We haven't been around very long, so we don't have that many swimmers yet. Our goal at the moment is to come second last. That would be great for us! We have to work hard in Tilburg. It is typical for Avalon that we are serious about it. We are proud if we finish second to last. So again, it is mainly about improving yourself. You have to have a goal.

AND ON THE INFORMAL FRONT?

"Many activities come back monthly. We also have our anniversary this year. That includes lustrum activities. We have five events: a pre-party, a broke lunch at the Pancake Bakery, a competition, a gala and an after-party."

SWIMMING IS GOOD FOR YOU. IT IS HEALTHY AND YOU RARELY GET INJURED. YOU TRAIN ALL YOUR MUSCLE GROUPS AND YOU GET IN EXCELLENT SHAPE. THERE ARE ONLY ADVANTAGES.

WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE FUTURE? AND WHAT IF YOU HAD UNLIMITED RESOURCES?

The men laugh and give us their wish with unlimited resources: "If we had unlimited resources, I would like to have a swimming pool at the university on the highest point. A 50-metre pool! On top of building K, I want a funnel pool with a fantastic view of the Warande. We just don't know if that's feasible."

"No, but all kidding aside. The university is looking into the possibility of a swimming pool at the new Sport Center. That would be very cool, because then we would be closer to the other sports associations. We could also have a beer at the bar afterwards. We also want to organise more training sessions, but our current swimming pool (Drieburcht) is used by many others as well."

"Of course we want to eventually compete with the top. Of course step by step, but the goal is to become number one!"

"We want to emerge stronger from the corona crisis. That includes new events and we are working hard on that this year. For example, we have set up 'Swimming For Charity' and we are in the process of organising a swimming competition with all our sister associations."

WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO DO IF YOU WANT TO BECOME A MEMBER?

"Then you go to TSZWVavalon.com! There you will find all the necessary information. You can also apply for a membership on the site. You can always come and do a trial training. We are in Drieburcht. The only thing you need is a sport subscription for the Sport Center. Membership is €45 per year! Furthermore, all you need is a pair of swimming trunks (and a pair of glasses). We have the rest!"

"Come and try it. Swimming is good for you. It is healthy and you rarely get injured. You train all your muscle groups and get in great shape. There are only advantages."

Did you become curious? Then take a look at the site of Avalon!