Gerko is national project leader Working via Sport. He makes the connection between detention and the sports world. He does this not only with about thirty football clubs, but also with Turn-Over. And according to him, rugby has the potential to become much bigger.
"Rugby can become even bigger within the prison system. Football is a popular sport number 1. There are still prejudices to rugby. I notice that on colleagues in the workplace. In doing so, I tried to put it in a prison, but there they were really convinced that this is not good for the target group, because it would be such an aggressive sport: on the ball, tackling each other. "
Gerko is connecting link. He goes in search of clubs that want to give prisoners a new chance. Detainees who are in the final phase of their detention, are motivated and do not have sex offenses or high-profile cases hanging on their pants. "They have to be able to function at such a club or in such a group."
He started working with Turn-Over two years ago. "I have a football background. Had nothing with rugby, but was invited to a Seven tournament in Amsterdam. I saw a sport that is about collaboration, where discipline is of paramount importance and where commentary on the referee is a no go. I thought that was unique and unique. And it fits well with our target group. Since then we have been supplying small-scale detainees to Turn-Over. "
And those prejudices? He is eager to take away the ambitious project manager. "On June 7, we organize a rugby clinic in the largest prison in the Netherlands, in Zaanstad. For me it was also an eye-opener when I first came into contact with the sport. Hopefully we can increase the support base on 7 June. "