Dutch Racing Program

A Small Boat Training and Racing Opportunity in Holland

Going abroad increases your awareness. Over the years we  found rowers who train abroad gain a better understanding of the sport and their relation to it.

Of course, rowing past windmills, learning Dutch training techniques, riding your bike to and from practice, and racing against Dutch juniors are pretty nice perks too.

Learning to support your team starts with learning to manage yourself. Training and racing in Europe requires athletes to possess an individual drive that can sometimes get lost in a larger boat. Training sessions mostly occur in singles, and athletes  transport themselves via bicycle to and from training, and around the city.

Racing in the NSRF-SLOT. The NSRF regatta is the equivalent to Junior Nationals in the States, being the final regatta for both junior and university athletes for the season. Our rowers get to race against the Dutch juniors.

The challenges our rowers face provide a radically different perspective on training, racing, and even life itself that will continue to inform, inspire, and provide improvement long after it finishes. All of these conditions require a competitive drive, thoughtfulness, and resilience as a precursor for learning and success.

Who May Apply

This program is designed for athletes who possess a highly competitive drive and a desire to gain an edge on their training knowledge, technique, and racing experience. All students who wish to apply for the limited number of positions must by necessity be more mature in their daily comportment and decision-making than the average high school athlete.

Maturity and thoughtfulness are – specifically – a requirement to find enjoyment here. Students will be required to submit a short initial application with an application deposit that is put toward tuition if the student is accepted. After that, students will be asked to interview via video chat with a Sparks staff member. Click the registration tab to apply.

If you have questions, we're happy to speak further.

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Dutch Racing Program

Dave Payne

Sparks Experiential Learning Director

Dave heads Sparks’ Experiential Education Program. Before assuming the overall Director of Camps position, Dave spent three southern hemisphere winters directing the Sparks Development Program in Dunedin, New Zealand. Prior to his time in New Zealand, Dave spent five summers as a counselor and programming director for an immersion program for domestic and international high school students; three in Boston and two in Florence. After completing a successful rowing career at UCSD, Dave worked his first coaching job at Gippsland Grammar in Australia. He has served as a high school rowing coach and teacher in San Diego and New York City. He currently teaches at an IB middle school in Washington DC, maintaining his deep passion for education, both domestically and abroad.

Jan-Willem van der Wal

Dutch National Rowing Federation Talent Management and Development

Jan-Willem directs in-country program operations via TopRow B.V. — a one of a kind rowing center in southern Amsterdam. He has held various roles with the Dutch National Rowing Federation — most recently managing their U23 program. He has also coached with the Dutch national team in addition to ASR Nereus and DSRV Laga. He will manage in-country logistics and operations for the program.

Diederik de Boorder

Fmr. Coach, Dutch Senior & Junior Natl. Team

Diederik served as head coach for the Dutch juniors from 2007 to 2013. Prior to that he spent a year in China working with the Chinese rowing federation. Prior to that he served as a national team coach with the Dutch senior team from 2000-2004. Prior to that he worked to develop the sport in Guatemala and Indonesia. He runs his own business Boundless Boorder, which deals with general high performance coaching and is also a lecturer in coaching and high performance at the University of Rotterdam.

Dutch Racing Program

  • Who:  Experienced athletes proficient at rowing aged 14-18 who can demonstrate high maturity.
  • When:  June 17 - 29, 2019
  • Size:  The program is selective; 12 or fewer athletes make the trip per year.
  • Cost:  $3,795 
  • Where:  The Bosbaan in Amstelveen and Skøll RV on the Amstel on the outskirts of southern Amsterdam. Students will be housed together at the IBIS Budget Hotel in Amsterdam. The NSRF-SLOT Regatta will take place in Rotterdam 7-8 July.
  • Questions:  Email international@sparksconsult.com
  • Apply:  Applications will be available early November. If you have any questions, please send us an email.
  • Supervision:  The small program and home stays allow for close overwatch, but just as small boats require an ability to train independently - the program requires participants to be able to act on their own at times.

Dutch Racing Program

Sparks Dutch Racing Admissions Process:

Step 1: Submit the intial program application.

Step 2: Make the full program tuition deposit; we will accept the deposit to hold your place pending a positive admissions review. 

Step 3: Write a 250 word essay discussing a meaningful experience and what it taught you. The experience does not have to be rowing related. We are interested in your ability to support yourself and others, your thoughtfulness, and your ability to work in community to overcome challenge. The essay will be submitted to the Holland Program Director. 

Step 4: Video conference with Holland Program Director

Our programming is open to all regardless of speed. More important to us is your ability to live, train, and support others in a community committed to utilizing challenge for personal growth. This is unlike a traditional training camp in that objectives for the community are just as important as individual training objectives. Personal improvements in speed are a byproduct of a larger process meant to allow athletes to confront challenge more effectively. 



Jun 25 2018 - Jul 08 2018

Dutch Racing Program Deposit
CLOSED



Dutch Racing Program

Program application is below. Other forms are made available on your dashboard six weeks in advance of camp.

Application