Breda is colouring red during La Vuelta

BUas’ orange is a perfect match with red! And with Avans' magenta, Fontys' purple and the Curio colours. Now all these colours are coming together in the red of La Vuelta Holanda!

“The wonderful thing about the combination of all those colours is that they strengthen each other,” says Lars Davids from the Business Desk of Leisure & Events. “Everyone shines in their own way. Last year, BUas worked together on the Dutch Athletics Championships with the Municipality of Breda and several education institutes. Now we are working together on the Vuelta, which comes to the Netherlands in August. This is really a very special sports event for students to cooperate in.”

La Vuelta Holanda commences on 19 August with a time trial in Utrecht. On 20 August, the racers  cycle From Den Bosch to Utrecht, and on 21 August they cycle – in a stage of almost 200 kilometres through the Brabant landscape – from Breda to Breda. “And you can count on Breda colouring red,” laughs Lars, “that’s what we are going to do our utmost for at any rate!”

The colour red evidently stands for the Spanish temperament that one could feel as early as during the several side events that were organised by students in the run-up to this cycling event. “The side events are part of what are termed City Deals that the municipality of Breda facilitates to enhance the attraction and liveability of the city of Breda,” says Lars. “Inclusivity is an important aspect of them. We want to engage as many residents as possible. Events are not organised for a certain group, but with them. It is always a co-creation.”

Vamos a la playa!

BUas students, together with international students in Breda, organised the Vuelta ‘o Clock event on Belcrum Beach in Breda in June. Complete with Sangria, salsa and Spanish classes. Curio students made a wonderful social contribution with a Silent Disco at care organisation Thebe. Doing exercises on – what else – Spanish music, together with people suffering from dementia and people with acquired brain injury. Students from Curio, Fontys and Avans developed a Spanish game pack for primary schools in Breda, and tested it out together with pupils from primary school De Zandberg.

“We always try to have a mix of different students in a project group,” Lars continues. “That very combination makes an event stronger because everybody puts in things of their own. I think the strength of BUas students lies in being able to cooperate well. That’s what they do here on the campus and when they are doing their work placement, and you see that, for example Curio students learn a lot from that. Another striking point is that our students are very creative; mostly when they’re thinking up solutions if things turn out differently from what was planned or when there is a low budget.”

The kick of working together

Not only in the projects of City Deal Kennis Maken (CDKM) do the various colours come together. Floris is a third-year student of Leisure & Events Management and is currently doing a work placement at La Vuelta Holanda in Utrecht. “You can see students from several education institutes here as well,” says Floris, “and that makes this work placement extra valuable for me. Of course it is  great that I am given the opportunity to work on such a big sports event; it is actually the biggest in the world after the Tour de France and the Giro!” He grins. “And then you are here at the office among students of other universities of applied sciences and universities. And although all of us have our own focus, you soon discover that everything relates to everything, so we connect quite easily, and exchange the necessary knowledge. We all work towards the same goal; that’s what gives us an enormous kick!”

When I started my work placement, I was really impressed by the sheer amount of work involved in organising such a big sports event.  To that purpose, I now support the project organisers in various fields. Information provision is an important point for attention; I am compiling the road maps for the volunteers, and I worked on the Q&A part of the website. I am given all the freedom to work out things according to my own ideas. I also take part in research that students of Utrecht University are conducting into the societal impact of La Vuelta Holanda.”

One of the other students on placement (in total, 14!) at La Vuelta is Tristan. “He is also a student of Leisure & Events,” says Floris, “and his main task is to coordinate the side events. These are not only organised as City Deal projects in Breda, but in Den Bosch and Utrecht as well. On behalf of the organisers, I was the contact person for several side events. And in a while, I will also be there along the route of course. I am really looking forward to that because it seems wonderful to me to see how all the things I have worked on are finally coming together!”

Connection to Industry & Research

That everything comes together in the colour red of La Vuelta can also be seen within BUas. Fabienne Waaijenberg is a first-year student of Logistics, and she is also making a contribution to this big sports event. For the Connection to Industry & Research course, students themselves search for an organisation in which they can put theory into practice. Fabienne chose Central Events in Utrecht and cooperates in organising the races that will be cycled prior to La Vuelta. She carried out research into the locations and the setup of the care stations, and she is going to be volunteering as a course steward!