A huge building looms up. An impressive block of concrete: it is the Zaanstad Justice Complex that opened its doors two years ago and accommodates more than a thousand detainees spread over 667 cells. Last week it was not about crimes, but it was party. During the Seven-tournament organized by Turn-Over, in which four teams, mixed teams with prison guards, detainees and participants of Turn-Over took it against each other.
My name is checked on the list, yes it's true: I belong there. I am allowed through the first gate, where I am met by a prison staff member. My shoes are allowed on the belt. Now I can go through the gate - that starts to squeal. Again. The gate continues to beep. Take me to a small booth, where I am searched. It is the bra of my bra - I get an agreement and am taken inside.
It is impressive, especially if you have never experienced such a thing. We walk through the gray corridors. I see a courtyard where the detainees air. Nevertheless, the heavy feeling does not last long. There is a festive atmosphere in the courtyard. The sun is shining, there are stands with food, coffee made in prison and there is water - lots of water. That is necessary. For the bystanders, but especially for the players, on this bloody hot day.
In the morning the clinics, the teams were formed and have already been played. Trainer Lammert Ruiter is impressed: "The atmosphere is good and everyone is doing his best. Only it is incredibly hot. "Sweaty bodies full of tattoos run around and have benevolent water poured over their heads to cool.
"It's crazy, out of expectation", exclaims an enthusiastic Joeri Peperkamp. He organized the Seven tournament. He does not have time to look calmly. He is being addressed from all sides. Meanwhile, he speaks to 'his' boys with encouragement.
The atmosphere is good. No unspoken word is spoken, trainer Mats Marcker also confirms. "Sport fraternizes", says Gerko Brink, national project leader Working through Sport.
There is played, and hard too. But there is also laughter. There is respect and it is not clear who is detained, who is a prison guard and who belongs to Turn-Over. "You notice no difference," says Peperkamp. "It really was a rugby atmosphere."
Repeated, he finds. That night he moved together with Rodriguez, who got his life back on track through Turn-Over, but kicked it by now, along Langs de Lijn and Environs, NOS / EO, Radio 1, to live on the to talk about ether. Listen back? You can do that here .
By Anna Neeltje de Boer