‘It’s great to see what the SamenZóo can achieve by making their location smoke-free’ | Diary Saake Malestein, neighborhood sports and culture coach at Saam Welzijn

Residents of Meppel and the surrounding area give an insight into their daily life in the form of a diary. What do they do, what keeps them busy? This week the diary of Saake Malestein from Nieuwleusen. He is a neighborhood sports and culture coach at Saam Welzijn.

Friday 1 July

Today the day starts at SamenZóo of the Abdullam Foundation. SamenZóo is a very beautiful and smoke-free care farm with a wide range of animals. Because of the ‘non-smoking’ sign at the entrance I got in touch with them. When I received the message from GGD IJsselland that it was possible to nominate smoke-free locations for the Smoke Free Generation Award, I got the idea to nominate this beautiful park. SamenZóo won prizes and today was the prize giving. The park has managed to get a nice second place, with 1000 euros. Nice to see what the SamenZóo yields by making their location smoke-free.

A tour of the schools is also planned today to evaluate the playgrounds and exercise squares. The play and exercise squares are after-school exercise activities that I carry out together with interns on the square of various schools. In the period from March to the beginning of June, eight schools in the municipality of Staphorst took part. Now it is time to evaluate this with the schools and see if and how we can follow up on this.

Saturday 2 July

Weekend. I usually don’t work on weekends. A standard working week for me starts on Tuesday morning and ends on Friday late afternoon. On Saturdays I usually play a match in the first team of SV Nieuwleusen. We have had a great season; became champion and especially achieved a good level together. The football season is currently over, so there was no football this Saturday. This Saturday evening was still dominated by the many volunteers who work week in week out for the association. A pleasant volunteer evening took place in the canteen of SV Nieuwleusen. Together with teammates I supported this evening, so that the volunteers themselves did not have to work. The rest of the weekend I spent with my girlfriend, friends and family.

Monday July 4

I am currently still following a master’s degree at the University of Twente, called Health Psychology and Technology. In this training you will learn about the relationship between health, the body, the mind and behavior to promote healthier lifestyles and teach people to deal with diseases. I am working on the last part of the training; the graduation thesis. I use Mondays, and occasionally the evenings, to work on this graduation thesis. My graduation thesis is about using games to train breathing in the Intensive Care Unit for children. We look at the safety of the games, the feasibility of implementing the games according to employees and how acceptable patients and parents find the games. It seems that employees, patients and parents are especially enthusiastic about this innovative way of breathing training.

Tuesday 5 July

The working week starts again today. First of all, a colleague and I have a conversation with two interns for next school year. We meet and discuss what we do at Saam Welzijn and what is possible. A nice and good conversation with hopefully a sequel. The potential interns look enthusiastic and want to continue an internship at Saam Welzijn. Next year they will most likely be active at Saam Welzijn in the municipality of Staphorst and the municipality of Dalfsen. I am looking forward to it and I am curious what we can achieve in this year.

In the afternoon an introduction was scheduled at ‘de Leerkamer’ in Staphorst. I would come and tell you something about exercise for the elderly and myself. The plan is also to participate in an exercise activity and to get to know the participants of the daytime activities. Unfortunately this appointment has been cancelled, but we are working on finding a new moment. Nice to get to know this group in Staphorst as well.

During the time of this appointment, I entered into a conversation with the new youth worker at Saam Welzijn in the municipality of Staphorst. We took the time to get to know each other better, but above all we looked at what we can do together to reach the youth in the municipality of Staphorst and to focus preventively on physical and mental health.

At the end of the afternoon, an appointment was scheduled with my colleague neighborhood sports and exercise coach in the municipality of Staphorst. She is engaged in offering exercise activities for the Ukrainians in Staphorst. In this way she also comes into contact with them and the Ukrainians can be helped further from there. We also try to respond to the different needs of these people. For example, when a man asked us if he could also play basketball somewhere, he was brought into contact with the Red Giants basketball association in Meppel. He participated there and is happy that he can now practice this sport, which he did a lot in Ukraine, in the Netherlands with other basketball enthusiasts.

Wednesday 6 July

Today the morning and part of the afternoon is dominated by a number of things that need to be done. Work resulting from working group consultations or other agreements. But also work that results from contacts from mail, call, Instagram and Whatsapp. These tasks range from writing action plans or putting projects on paper, to contacting people to provide feedback or to schedule appointments. The overarching theme of these actions is the promotion of the Vitality Agreement in the municipality of Staphorst.

The Vitality Agreement consists of the themes of the local sports and exercise agreement in the municipality of Staphorst, with two additional themes added: ‘Mental health’ and ‘Healthy lifestyle’. Soon this will probably be further distributed by the municipality of Staphorst. More about the local sports and exercise agreement can be found on the website of the municipality of Staphorst.

In the afternoon I support in Vilsteren with the after-school exercise program for Ukrainian children in the municipality of Dalfsen. My colleagues from Saam Welzijn in Dalfsen contribute to this. Before the summer period, our organization was asked whether we could collect a number of data from the normally responsible colleagues. That’s where I registered myself for today. It’s nice to spend an hour exercising and exercising with these children. There was a group of about 35 children. Together with the neighborhood sports coach of the municipality of Dalfsen and the interpreter (Dutch-Ukrainian) of Saam Welzijn, we made it a pleasant hour. Hockey, football and various tap games were on the program. The weather was nice and the children left the sports complex in Vilsteren happy and a bit exhausted.

Thursday 7 July

In the morning I attend the gym lessons of a primary school in the municipality of Staphorst. In collaboration with this primary school, we want to see how things are going in terms of sports and exercise and what can still be done. A nice assignment in which I hope to get to know the school well. In consultation with the physical education teacher, I use this morning to have a first insight into physical education. We will continue to work on it next school year.

The regional meeting for the Broad Scheme for Combination Functions will take place in the afternoon. This meeting was organized by the Association of Sports and Municipalities, Sports Network Overijssel and Rijnbrink Cultural Education. In two workshop rounds I collected information about inclusive sports and exercise and about the Athletic Skills Model. Inspiring meetings where experiences are exchanged. After the workshops there is room to discuss everything that a neighborhood sports coach works with. Interesting to hear what neighborhood sports coaches are doing in other municipalities. In the evening the sports chord festival was on the program, but unfortunately it has been cancelled. The advantage is that I can now participate in the practice match of my football team against the second team of VV Staphorst.

After today, a good two weeks of vacation and then I look forward to setting up new exercise and health initiatives in collaboration with the municipality, schools, welfare, sports associations and other organizations in the municipality of Staphorst!

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