Meet Tarantula! This is the student rugby club of Tilburg. Are rugby players broad, big and clumsy? Not at all! It's all about your mindset here. And that is reflected in the training sessions, matches and activities. The members of Tarantula treat each other, opponents and the referee with respect. In addition, this club is characterised by fraternisation, both on and off the field. Besides playing serious rugby, the members of Tarantula regularly undertake fun activities together. Tarantula is open to everyone and is looking for new members. Are you curious about this club? Then read more!
WHO ARE YOU, WHAT IS YOUR FUNCTION AT TARANTULA AND WHAT DOES IT INVOLVE?
"My name is Jules Eijssen, 25 years old and I have been living in Tilburg for over a year and a half now. I recently graduated from my master's in Strategic Management at Tilburg University. I am a proud member of Tarantula and I would like to give the club a boost by telling you a bit more about our great rugby club."
WHAT IS TARANTULA IN ESSENCE?
"T.S.R.C. Tarantula is the student rugby club of Tilburg. We were founded in 1979. After a short stop the re-establishment took place in 2008. From that moment on we have been formed into the club that we are today. Rugby sounds like a barbaric sport. However, it really is a gentlemen's game. You can tell by the high level of respect players show towards each other as well as the referee."
"We have an inclusive view of our club. This means that everyone is welcome, regardless of experience, origin, faith, or political affiliation. Our aim is therefore to enable everyone to get to know each other. Our goal is to introduce everyone to this multi-faceted sport."
“ EVERYONE IS WELCOME. OUR AIM IS TO MAKE as many people as possible FAMILIAR WITH THIS MULTI-FACETED SPORT. ”
WHAT CHARACTERISES TARANTULA AND ITS MEMBERS?
"What people often think of rugby players is that they are big, broad and clumsy. Nothing could be further from the truth. What is so typical of Tarantula is that really everyone is of value in the team. Stature, weight and athletic ability. It does not matter. What does matter is your mindset. And occasionally your ability to drink beer with the team. Everyone is also very diverse, which adds to the atmosphere. There is always someone with a great story or an idea for an activity. If I had to describe Tarantula in one word, it would be the word 'brotherhood'."
"Besides the typical characteristics of Tarantula, there are also typical customs of the sport of rugby itself. After every match there is a man of the match who is treated to a nice beer. We also have a " dick of the day ", which is awarded to the person who has made the most "useless" action of the match. Or just a funny unnecessary action. That person gets to take care of our goldfish "Hagrid junior" for a week. Do you score for our team for the first time? Then a secret ritual takes place."
"Finally, the idea - should you be interested in it - is to obtain your tie at Tarantula. This is a procedure you are asked for when you have done a lot for the association and/or played a lot of matches. A nice goal to work towards, if you ask me."
HOW IS THE ASSOCIATION STRUCTURED?
"Tarantula has a board of three people: a chairman, a treasurer and a secretary. We also have several committees, like the drinks committee or the merchandise committee. If you don't have enough time to fulfil a board function, but if you do want to be involved in the association, a committee is a nice option."
WHAT ARE INFORMAL ACTIVITIES THAT YOU UNDERTAKE TOGETHER?
"We regularly grab a party together, when the competition schedule allows. This varies from the larger techno festivals to social gatherings with other associations. Apart from that, we also like to go into town together to celebrate the end of an exam week, for example. This all takes place on a regular basis and you are always free to join in. Personally, I think the best activities are the cantuses."
WHAT DOES AN AVERAGE WEEK LOOK LIKE?
"We train twice a week, on Tuesday and Friday. In addition, we play a match almost every Sunday. Since our opponents are divided into the Southeast region, all away games are a party. You almost always come home with a satisfied feeling after an afternoon of giving everything. And, this way, you also get to see the country!"
WHAT ARE THE OPPORTUNITIES TO DEVELOP YOURSELF WITHIN TARANTULA?
"Tarantula can be a great start of your rugby career. The sport is still relatively small in the Netherlands, so if you aspire to play at a higher level, Tarantula can serve as a kick start. This way you can get higher up. Eventually you might even be able to play in the highest league after the necessary years of training and experience."
"Apart from a professional perspective, you also develop yourself as a person within our club. Rugby makes you a stronger and more resilient person both physically and mentally. You learn to focus when under pressure, you learn to deal with disappointment and you can make choices more quickly. All the mental gains, combined with the fact that you become physically stronger and faster, contribute to your self-confidence. By sharing all the good and bad moments together, you build up a bond. That makes us closer as a club."
“ TARANTULA CAN BE A GREAT START TO YOUR RUGBY CAREER. EVENTUALLY YOU MAY EVEN BE ABLE TO PLAY IN THE HIGHEST LEAGUE AFTER THE NECESSARY YEARS OF TRAINING AND EXPERIENCE. ”
HOW DO YOU SEE THE ASSOCIATION IN THE FUTURE? AND, WHAT IF YOU HAD UNLIMITED RESOURCES?
"Rugby is a relatively unknown sport in the Netherlands. For that reason, we try to recruit members in different ways. We would like to try and keep Tarantula an authentic student rugby club. That is only possible when there is enough recruitment. We noticed this season that it is sometimes difficult to have enough players on the field. This is partly due to the fact that rugby is played with 15 players and you could always use five substitutes. More clubs in the Netherlands are struggling with this."
"If we had unlimited funds, we would set up many more advertising campaigns to get as many students involved in our sport as possible. In addition, we want to make the sport known among the people because this would benefit all clubs. If it ever comes to the point that there is enough recruitment, we want to set up a second team. That still sounds like the future, but you have to dare to dream. It would then be much better to have training sessions in which you distinguish between exercises for beginners and exercises for advanced players. Now everyone still trains together at the same intensity. That doesn't matter to us, because we are happy to teach anyone for whom the sport is new all the tricks of the trade."
WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO DO TO BECOME A MEMBER OF TARANTULA?
"To become a member of Tarantula you can go to https://www.tsrctarantula.nl/ and click on "join the club". Furthermore, you can follow us on Instagram @tarantularugby to get a better idea of our club and to see when special introductory training sessions are taking place."
Want to know more about Tarantula? Then take a look at the site!