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The Nieuw-Vennepp Vennep Flyers softball team members were driving themselves nuts by hurrying from work or school to be able to play before sundown. However, they can now play in the evenings thanks to LED lighting paid for by the Schiphol Fund.
"Softball and baseball are real summer sports, popular with young and old," says Jaap Jan van Scheijen of the Vennep Flyers. "Competitions run from April until September. Training sessions take place during the day, and baseball games take place over the weekend. Softball training is really a sport for a free evening during the week. There is really nothing better than going and hitting a ball together after a day’s work”.
Training for the Nieuw-Vennep softballers usually ended as soon as it got dark, especially in April and September when the sun goes down early. Players had to hastily arrive on time for a game because there was no lighting on the softball field, and evening training was really not an option outside of competition season. “We looked forward to daylight savings every year, when the clock goes forward one hour. Then we could finally train again in the evenings”, said Jaap Jan.
The need for field lighting grew strong, so Jaap Jan and other volunteers decided to examine the possibilities that existed. He said: ‘We knew that a subsidy existed for sustainable LED lighting, so that was an easy decision. However, investing in field lighting for a small club like ours is next to impossible, despite the fact that the members' meeting had already agreed to an increase in member contributions to facilitate this. We needed more help, and we found that with the Schiphol Fund.
The LED lighting could be purchased thanks to the donation from the Schiphol Fund. The first piles for the lighting were driven into the ground at the end of January 2019. Jaap Jan said: ‘I have really shed tears of joy because it was such a beautiful moment. We made all the preparations ourselves. At one point, we had 30 volunteers that took part, which I thought was very special. The field lighting has made the complex look really beautiful. Thanks to all of the help, we were also able to refurbish the grandstand and picnic tables”.
The LED lighting is now fully in use. “I skipped across the field like a baby lamb the first time the lights turned on”, said Jaap Jan. “I feel full of pride. We’re also proud of our collaboration with Hoofddorp Pioniers and Sportservice Haarlemmermeer, which allowed us to have a G-baseball team for children with a disability. They can now also train for longer in the evenings during September and October. Even the away-teams give us compliments!”, said Jaap Jan. "We have to be careful with such good LED lighting, because our field is not far from the Kaagbaan Runway. Let's hope the pilots and planes don't get confused!”
Vennep Flyers were the recipients of a € 31.999,83 donation for LED field lighting in 2019.
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