Phocas meets 600 rowers a day at the Maas-Waal Canal

26 Aug 2021

During the introduction week, hundreds of freshmen pay a visit to rowing association Phocas at the Maas-Waal Canal in Nijmegen. There they can row, but also dance and have a drink.

‘We receive around 600 students each day who come here to row,’ tells Nordin Jonker, vice president of the introduction committee. ‘New this year is the area outside. We have a DJ and a mechanical bull and students can have a drink at one of the tables. This way we hope to create an even better ambiance and keep students with us for longer. With respect to all the corona restrictions of course.’


Acting responsibly is top priority at Phocas. You don’t enter the area without a valid QR-code showing you are either vaccinated or tested negatively. ‘We want everything in order according to the current restrictions,’ Nordin says, while readjusting his sunglasses. ‘Visitors needing a valid QR-code is our own policy. The university didn’t force us to.’

‘With a test site around the corner you can have a valid QR-code within fifteen minutes’

There’s a solution right around the corner for students that do not have a valid QR-code yet. ‘There’s a test site close by. If you use an express test, you’ll have a valid QR-code within fifteen minutes. Some students have used this option already.’

Law enforcement

Suddenly a car from the office of supervision drives onto the footpath. They’ve come to check if the license is in order, since they’ve received noise complaints. ‘Part of the job,’ Nordin says, while another committee member walks to the officers with the license in his hand. ‘The police came by last night as well, but we have a valid license for all our introduction activities. However, we did decide to turn down the music a bit.’

The two officers leave after making a couple of phone calls, leaving behind a happy and slightly relieved looking introduction committee.

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