Football Memories Bus Trip through Rotterdam
The ladies and gents of Excelsior Football Memories were at the Van Donge & De Roo Stadium at 10am last Tuesday to take a bus trip through Rotterdam. With Sander de Kramer as tour guide, they drove past familiar points in the city. Of course, this included the necessary anecdotes. This Rotterdam trip ended with a delicious ball sandwich at De Ballentent.
Excelsior Football Memories
Excelsior Football Memories is organised every Tuesday morning for elderly people who are lonely or have lost their memory. Elderly people from Kralingen and Crooswijk reminisce about football history, but also about various topics of Rotterdam’s history. By means of photos, videos, music, old books and magazines, the Excelsior Foundation ensures that the memory of these people remains stimulated.
With a good cup of coffee or a nice cup of tea in their bellies, this group of people boarded the Excelsior players’ bus. After an opening with the housekeeping announcements by Piet de Kramer, his son Sander took over the microphone. A true ‘Rotterdammert’ with a social heart, he was the person of choice to lead this trip.
Giant of Rotterdam
As the bus drove along the Maasboulevard, the first anecdote about Excelsior already surfaced. Past stories about the city provided a driving Football Memories experience. With every building or statue came a story and a nickname. Arriving on Kruiskade, the statue of ‘the Giant of Rotterdam’ could be seen on the left; Rigardus Rijnhout. At 2 metres 38 and 230 kilos, he was the second tallest man in the Netherlands ever. According to Sander de Kramer, it took a crane to hoist him down from the second floor of his house.
After the bus drove through historic Delfshaven and Piet Hein’s birthplace, the 185-metre-high Euromast loomed in the distance. Under the watchful eye of the Euromast, the bus still passed the ‘pluk-me-kaalstraat’ where the old tax office and old warehouses can be found. Via the Westzeedijk and the three famous bridges over the Maas, the bus arrived at De Ballentent, where the final anecdote was told. The NK ‘Stowing Meatballs’ where the winner ate nine and a half balls and then received a voucher for unlimited meatballs at De Ballentent.
This ride full of Rotterdam history also elicited plenty of stories from the elderly that were shared during the trip.
,,I think it’s important to join what the Excelsior Foundation does, which is to ensure more involvement between these sometimes though lonely elderly people. For these people, this is also a foothold in the week. Twenty people would not sleep if these gatherings did not take place.”Hendrik Nolles, Walking Footballer and one of the volunteers of Football Memories
In a few weeks, the next activity is scheduled again. A Christmas celebration will be held then. Until then, there are the regular meetings on Tuesday mornings.