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02.07.2015, 10:40
Brave Bertus Servaas’ big plans for Kielce
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INTERVIEW: President of the Polish champions has a busy summer ahead as he works to accomplish some major goals
 

Brave Bertus Servaas’ big plans for Kielce

Although the holiday period has already started and the players have long been resting from handball, Bertus Servaas does not slack off. The president of Vive Tauron Kielce is having a busy summer as he and the club work to accomplish several projects in upcoming months.

“We are willing to be the club which tries new things, even if they sound a little bit crazy,” says the Dutchman.

The most worthwhile event in his schedule will be the friendly game against Paris Saint-Germain on 29 August. Unusually, the game will take place not in Kielce, but in Krakow’s Tauron Arena – the biggest sports hall in Poland. But why?

“We want to beat an indoor sports record attendance in the country. It amounts to 12,500 and was achieved on volleyball match in November 2014,” explains Servaas.

“Our goal is to get 15,000 as then we could be sure that we will maintain the record for a longer time.”

Match against PSG will enable Kielce to beat other Polish records, such as attendance in a handball club game and attendance of a handball match in general (11,037 recently set during the friendly game Poland vs Denmark after the EHF EURO 2016 final tournament draw in Krakow  - read more here).

Above all it will be just a great spectacle for each handball fan, with stars such as Mikkel Hansen, Thierry Omeyer, Karol Bielecki and Julen Aguinagalde on one court.

“Well, PSG is one of the biggest favourites in the upcoming edition of the VELUX EHF Champions League. Apart from us, of course,” laughed Servaas, “I was hoping not to be in the same group with them.

New arena back on the agenda

The president of Vive would also like the event to push forward the project of a new arena, which is the second bullet point of his summer plan.

“We’ve got the scheme of arena with 8.200 seats and we are sure that it would be full for each Champions League match. As of now, we have the support from the city of Kielce, the whole region, from the sponsors and the fans. We are only waiting for the move of the Ministry of Sport and Tourism,” he explains.

“We want to prove the ministry that handball is worth investing in.”

The plan of the new hall was invented almost three years ago, as 8,000 seats would open for Kielce the gate to be one of the host cities of the EHF EURO 2016. The cost of building was predicted to be about PLN 85 million (approx. 20 million euro) and Kielce lacked half of the sum. However, the ministry rejected the project and now Bertus Servaas wants to revive the idea.

“We need a social movement to finish what we started,” he underlines.

The last point of the summer plan is a reconcilement with the fans in Kielce. The past three years have seen period of dispute between the club’s board of directors and the fun club “Iskra”.

Its members lost their seats in the middle of the stands and were rearranged, firstly behind one of the goals, then into the corner. Thus they stopped supporting the team and the new fan club was created. Sometimes there were even odd situations when two groups of fans disturbed each other in cheering. That is the short version of the story, as the long one is much more complicated.

There were arguments on both sides, but the most important is that since the new season both fan clubs are coming back to the middle seats. They will be joined by the brand new fan club Yellow-White-Blue and all three will be led by “Iskra”.

“We have spoken to all the groups of fans and I am very, very happy that we finally reached an agreement,” smiled Servaas.

In the end, summing up the whole summer plan, he added “Let’s show as Kielce citizens that we can do something.”

Photo credit: Vive Tauron Kielce


TEXT: Magda Pluszewska / cor
 
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