This is S.C.A. Fortis! The Student CrossFit Association of Tilburg. We talked to chairman Sari. CrossFit is a very versatile sport in which you develop yourself to an all-round athlete. How do you do that at Fortis? Together! After all, training is more fun when you do it together. That is a high priority at this club. And after one of those training sessions? You're completely exhausted, but you go home feeling satisfied. However, it is not just about training. No, on the contrary: there are drinks, activities and friendships. Perhaps the best part is that there is a lot of focus on internationalisation. There is a place for everyone at Fortis! Curious about this association? Then read on.
WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT DO YOU DO AT FORTIS?
"I am Sari Pastoor, 25 years old and I have been living in Tilburg for about three years now. The past year, I have been president of student sports association S.C.A. Fortis. This means that I was responsible for managing the board, leading board meetings, and keeping an overview of our committees. I am also the first point of contact for external contacts, such as the TiU Sports Centre and cooperation partners. These tasks are part-time, in addition to which I am following a Research Master in Linguistics. In my opinion, a board position is a very nice change between study and club life, in which you can also develop on a personal and social level and make a difference for many students in Tilburg."
WHAT IS FORTIS IN ESSENCE?
"Fortis is a student sports association. We have been around for almost 2,5 years now, and have about 90 members. Within Fortis we practice the sport CrossFit, which is a combination of weightlifting, gymnastics, and athletics. Our sport is very versatile, which means that every training session is different and that you can develop yourself as an all-round athlete. We always train in groups, but the workouts are done individually or in buddy form. That makes our association unique: everyone can join, you always train with others, and you are always challenged at your own level. What we find most important? That everyone, regardless of level, can train together!"
“ THAT MAKES OUR ASSOCIATION UNIQUE: EVERYONE CAN PARTICIPATE, YOU ALWAYS TRAIN WITH OTHERS, AND YOU ARE ALWAYS CHALLENGED AT YOUR OWN LEVEL. WHAT WE FIND MOST IMPORTANT? THAT EVERYONE, REGARDLESS OF LEVEL, CAN TRAIN TOGETHER! ”
WHAT DOES A TRAINING COURSE AT FORTIS LOOK LIKE?
Every evening Fortis offers training sessions for members and non-members. You may have seen us training on the bootcamp field or in T-Kwadraat. We often hear that it looks 'intimidating'. "Fortis? That's only for people who already have a lot of sports experience...". Nothing could be further from the truth! Every part, and I mean every part, of the training can be adapted to your level. You never have to do anything you don't like! Our training sessions have a fixed structure. We always start with a warm-up, after which part of the lesson is spent on strength training. This can be squats or deadlifts, but also snatches and clean & jerks. After that we always do a WOD (workout of the day). Because of the diversity in our sport, the content of the WOD is always different. One thing is for sure: you'll be exhausted and satisfied when you're done. We finish with some stretches and chat some more.
WHAT TYPIFIES AN AVERAGE FORTIS MEMBER?
"Besides sportsmanship, Fortis members are characterised by their openness and enthusiasm. I can still clearly remember my first training sessions at Fortis. I didn't know anyone and didn't know what the sport was all about. From the very first moment, people came up to me; "Is there anything I can help you with?", "How did your workout go?". In the group app, in addition to the activities organised by the AC, many activities are initiated. Swimming together, having a drink, cycling, eating, and so on. Fortis is a place where I felt welcome from the first moment, like a warm bath. I find regular sports and a healthy lifestyle very important, and at Fortis I can fully combine that with a vibrant social life. Seeing friendships develop within our association is great! "
WHAT IS YOUR HIGHLIGHT AT FORTIS?
"Please don't ask me to name a highlight of my time at Fortis... there are too many! From taking an ice-cold dip in the Piushaven, cantus in a riding covered wagon, being a little kid at JumpSquare, having drinks at our home port Café Polly Maggoo, dancing on the TUC, or our CoBo... all of these are memories that I will undoubtedly look back on later with a big smile."
HOW DO YOU SEE FORTIS IN THE FUTURE?
"During our short existence we have grown tremendously, and we have been able to establish ourselves as a full-fledged and active student sports association that is not inferior to other associations with a longer existence. Our goal is to try to keep up with this growth. Sufficient supply of training, professionalisation of the programming, and training of our trainers are important in this. We are also in talks with the Sport Center to realise our own training location, with more materials and possibilities. But at least as important is that our members feel connected to the association, and can grow together with Fortis. Everyone gets the chance to be involved and to develop themselves in whatever area they choose. Whether that is by actively taking part in a committee, or by having fun at activities. We are happy with all our members, and hope they feel that way too."
HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH INTERNATIONALISATION?
"Fortis thinks it is important that international students can find their place in Tilburg. All our classes are taught in English, and English is spoken in the group app. Many internationals tell us that they have found a place at Fortis, and that they have found new contacts that have made their time in Tilburg unforgettable. Moreover, internationals and Dutch people mix completely at Fortis. Not a given everywhere, but very cool to see!"
SO, TRIAL LESSON?
"Do you have a subscription to the Sport Center? Just come and try it out! You can sign up for 'Crosstraining' via the SC app. If you want more information about our classes and times, or if you just want to take a peek at the atmosphere within our club, please visit our Insta @scafortis or our website https://scafortis.nl/. If you have any questions, just send a message on Instagram or an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. I'll answer with love!"
"See you at training!"