Boot campers give way to children in Vondelpark
The association "Friends of Vondelpark" received sixteen complaints last year from neighbors, complaining play grounds in the park have been taken over by "boot campers." In recent years a growing number of outdoor sports clubs incorporate what nature has to offer in a workout.
Drill instructors take city slickers all over the park, jogging, squatting, jumping, and finally stretching, usually on the climbing racks on the play grounds. 'Sixteen may not seem like a lot, but four or five usually mean panic, said chairman Jan Kienhuis, who went on to say: 'We like that so many people use the park to work out, but not on the play grounds.' Ramses Jedeloo, chairman of the Amsterdam Boot Camp Club, is one of the thirteen sports clubs that received a letter from the association, requesting they do their workouts elsewhere. Jedeloo agrees 'children need to be able to play, they are entitled to their play grounds,' but goes on to say 'we work out at seven in the morning and in the evenings, when there are no children around.' 'We notice sportsmen and children are in each other's way at times,' confirms Germaine Fetter of district South, who also received some complaints from concerned parents. 'The pressure on the park is high, and it's difficult to accommodate everybody, but we are working on a solution.'