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Terra study association wins Van Bergen Prize

Bringing Dutch and international students together. One way to do that is by playing Archery Attack, archaeology student Timothy Stikkelorum suggested. On 13 November, he and his team, a committee from the Terra study association, won the Van Bergen Prize with their idea.

Vice-Rector Hester Bijl presented the prize to Timothy Stikkelorum.

The award of the Van Bergen Prize is a fixed element in the annual Diversity Symposium at Leiden University, which was held this year in Leiden's Stadsgehoorzaal. Timothy Stikkelorum and Vera van Heel - the other three committee members were not present - were completely shocked at winning the prize.

Instinctive reflexes

Timothy has been a keen archer for years, but  he also enjoys Archery Attack. ‘Once people have played just a single game, they're already quite good,' he says.  'Apparently the game appeals to very old, instinctive reflexes: ready, aim, fire. A round lasts only six minutes, so you're really in the moment.' Last year Timothy organised a tournament at the Archaeology Faculty, with eight mixed teams of staff and students. ‘Nobody had any experience with the game, so everyone started at the same level. You see the differences between staff and students melt away. Players have to work together, trust one another and make agreements with one another. That's how you discover unexpected sides of each other. If you really use these differences well, you can play more strategically.' 

NK Archery Attack
The 2017 Dutch tournament on the beach.

Archery game

Archery Attack is an archery game where teams fire at one another and at an object with holes in it. They use a 1.45 m-long bow, and arrows with rubber balls on the ends. The game is played with two teams of four players, each of which has a field of seven metres, separated by a no-go strip of four metres. In both fields there are inflated plastic objects behind which the archers can hide, and an object of 60x60 cm with five holes that are each covered with a round plate. You can win points by shooting the plates, or by hitting a player. The players wear masks to protect their faces. There is a Dutch and even a world championship.  

NK Archery Attack 2017
Archery Attack Highlights Video

Vera van Heel (l) and Timothy Stikkelorum win the Van Bergen Prize
Two of the five prize winners: Vera van Heel (l) and Timothy Stikkelorum.

Step by step

The archaeology students drummed up a number of fellow students and together they formed a committee of the Terra study association to work out their plan: the idea is to roll out the game step by step throughout the whole university and to expressly involve international students. Vera: ‘Archery Attack is a relatively little-known team game so we think it will appeal to people.' The students will also call on other study associations to spread the game. They are already thinking about how to carry the initiative further once they have graduated. The prize money - a maximum of 5,000 euros - can be used to buy new material: a complete set of equipment for one field (two teams) costs around 700 euros. A date has already been fixed for a tournament: 18 May. 'A Saturday,'  Stikkelorum says, ‘because international students don't all have plans for their weekends.’

The Van Bergen Prize is awarded annually to an individual or team at Leiden University (students and staff) who have the best idea for bringing together Dutch and international students. The idea is to promote understanding of one another's cultures. The jury is made up of students and staff and they assess the entries on the basis of their innovative nature, their scope and how feasible they are to implement. The Van Bergen Fund is named after Joris van Bergen, former member of the Executive Board of Leiden University. 

The jury
Right, the full jury, with Joris van Bergen, former member of the Executive Board, in the centre.

Text: Corine Hendriks
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