UTSportsSportsTop Level Sport

Top Level Sport

The University of Twente has special arrangements for students who participate in top-level sports. Below you can find more info about some of our students who compete at a high level in their sport. 

Do you play sports at a topsport level? Check the arrangements for topsport at the Univeristy of Twente! You can find these arrangements, and how to apply, on this website.

  • Bo Arends - Powerlifting

    My name is Bo and I’m a 21 year old competitive powerlifter.

    I did vwo at Marnix Gymnasium in Rotterdam before I moved to Enschede, where I now  study Applied Mathematics. I played football for 12 years and I also enjoy running and cycling. 

    I only started powerlifting in 2019, so I haven’t been doing it for a long time. I was going to  the gym for a little a year with no real goals. Then I decided that I wanted to get stronger,  and started following a powerlifting program. 

    Powerlifting is focused on 3 exercises: The squat, the bench press and the deadlift. You get 3 attempts for each exercise to lift as much weight as possible for 1 repetition. The goal is to get the highest total weight for your weight class. 

    I did a beginner powerlifting meet in may 2019, where I got second place. Then in october 2019 I did my first official meet: the National Student Championships, where I got third place. From there on I decided to work with a coach to really improve my technique and strength. 

    In october 2020 I competed at the National Student Championships again. Here I got first place, became best female lifter and qualified for the open national championships, the student European championships and the student World championships. I also broke the total record for my weight class. I got a 132.5 kg squat, 67.5 kg bench press and 165 kg deadlift for a 165 kg total. 

    I’m really looking forward to the student European championships because it will be my first international competition!

  • Daan Molenbroek - Handball

    My name is Daan Molenbroek, I live in Hengelo, at this moment I am 21 years old and I am practicing handball. I started at Olympia in Hengelo at the age of 12/13.

    After 4 years at Olympia, I joined HHV Donar, I left HHV Donar for Hurry Up after 2 years. Joining Hurry Up was a big step because their first team played in the first league and their second team played in the second division. Because Hurry Up was located in Zwartemeer, I had to travel 1 hour for a training session. I have played 3 years in the second team and in my second year, we got promoted to the first division. I have also made my debut in the first league, in my first year at the club. In the 3 years at the second team, I was able to play some matches with the first team. The highlight during this period was when I was asked to join for a game in the Challenge Cup, the first team also became champions of the first league. I played a few matches for the first team, but mostly I was a player of the second team.

    After my third season, I decided to leave Hurry Up and join E&O, this team is located in Emmen. The first team of Hurry Up was promoted to the BENE-league, this is the highest handball league and is a combination of teams from Belgium and Holland. The first team of E&O plays in the first league, this is one level below the BENE-league. My decision to join E&O was based on the possibility to play more games in the first league. This was the right decision, because I made a lot of minutes in the first team. We even became champions of the first league, another highlight in my career! Unfortunately we didn’t make it in the playoffs, so we weren’t able to get promotion to the BENE-League. Next year we will play another year in the first league.  

    I travel to Emmen 5 times a week and train 6/7 times a week. For the matches we also have to travel a lot around the country so I spend a lot of time traveling, but it’s all worth it!

  • Ivo Wolters - Teamgym

    Name: Ivo Wolters
    Date of Birth: 30-12-1996
    Lives in: Enschede
    Born in: Enter
    Study: Industrial Design Engineering
    Sport: Teamgym  

    When did you start in Teamgym and why?

    I started in Teamgym when I was about 11 years old. I used to like gymnastics already in kindergarten and would have loved to join trampoline gymnastics, but because the nearest club for trampoline gymnastics was too far away I ended up in Teamgym.

    Proudest moment in your career?

    The proudest moment of my career is probably being able to participate in the European Championships of 2018 after I injured myself during the one of 2016. Besides that are the national titles we won with our team from Rijssen fantastic as well.

    Hardest vaults?

    Triple pike somersault with a half twist on trampett
    Round-off flick double straight with a double twist on tumbling

    Other hobbies?

    Besides Teamgym am I an active member of my study association where I take part in committees which organize multiple events. I also chill out with some friends of my do-group which I met during the introduction period of the University of Twente.

    What do you do on a daily basis?

    In my daily life I study Industrial Design Engineering. Here I am busy with designing products, services and systems for (usually) mass production. Last semester I got my bachelors degree and I started my masters in industrial design this year.


    “Live your life today, not tomorrow” 


    Individual Dutch Championships
    Trampett : 3e 2016, 3e 2017, 3e 2019
    Vault : 2e 2017, 1e 2018, 2e 2019
    Air track : 3e 2017, 2e 2018, 2e 2019  
    Dutch championships in Teamgym (per apparatus):
    2016: Dutch champion Trampett, Air track and Table (Turnschool Rijssen)
    2018: Dutch champion Trampett, Air track, Vault and Table (Turnschool Rijssen)
    2019: Dutch champion Trampett, Air track, Vault and Table (Turnschool Rijssen)

    Team member National Team Teamgym :
    Senior men’s 2016 -> 8e place
    Senior mix 2018 -> 9e place
    Senior mix 2020 (moved to 2021)

  • Karlijn Geelkerken - Horseback riding

    My name is Karlijn Geelkerken, I’m from Enschede and I am 25 years old.
    As preparatory courses I first completed the Johan Cruyff college MBO-4 (top sport), the instructor training competition sport dressage (Level-4), I achieved my truck driver license and then I did the part-time education for bachelor Applied Psychology.
    During my internship and graduation for this study, I ended up in the Professional Behaviour Team at the UT (TNW). After graduating, I really enjoyed working here, which inspired me to go for a master's after all. Now I am almost done with the first half year of the pre-master's in psychology.

    Besides studying, I am busy with horse riding. I have successfully competed internationally with several horses and have had top sport status since I was 13. That is something I am quite proud of, because staying at the highest level constantly is quite a challenge.
    In addition, I have won a number of competitions over the years that I look back on with great pleasure, such as: Freestyle Young Riders Biarritz, Teamtest in Pompadour and Intermediar 1 CDI **** Achleiten. And last year the 2nd prize in the U25 grand prix CDI**** Crozet.

    Last year I rode my last year in the youth class for riders under 25 and I also started in the grand prix with the seniors. In the coming year I therefore want to focus on joining the top of the senior Grand Prix with my best horse Ecuador and train my other horses further to the highest level.

  • Lucas Braakhuis - Floorball

    Lucas Braakhuis, 21 years of age, is currently a fourth year’s Chemical Engineering student who moved from Zeist to study at the University of Twente.

    Next to his study Lucas is a member of the university’s floorball association Messed Up.

    After having played soccer, field hockey and tennis in his youth, he decided to give floorball a go. The fast, dynamic sport was very exciting and his interest in and dedication towards floorball grew by the day.

    Together with the rest of his team he takes part in (international) tournaments and now also competes in the premier league of the national competition after being promoted last season.

    Lucas is proud of this achievement and is determined to continue playing at this level to become national champion with his team one day.

  • Rinke Hiel - Competetive swimming

    My name is Rinke Hiel, I am 18 years old and born in a small village called Clinge, located in the south of Zeeuws-Vlaanderen. Before I started my studies at the University of Twente, I completed my high school at the Reynaertcollege in Hulst, I graduated and was able to start my studies Industrial Design at the University of Twente.

    I am competing in competitive swimming and I am mostly active in open water swimming. The achievement I am the most proud of is my success in the National Champions open water swimming, I came in first and won a gold medal.

  • Stijn Lagrand - Survivalrun and obstaclerun (OCR)

    Age: 18 years

    Study: International Business Administration (IBA), first year

    Topsport: Survivalrun and obstaclerun (OCR). Running through rough terrain with various obstacles and strength elements. On national and international youth- and adult top level.
    Achievement: I am the proudest of my 3 individual world champion titles OCR in the youth category (2018 and 2019). In 2018 I became world champion on the standard distance (15km) and in 2019 I became world champion on the standard distance and short distance (3km).
    At the world championship of 2019 my team, team Hang-On the Netherlands, got second place at the team-relay* in the pro-category.
    Aside from those achievements, I won the OCR European championships 3 times in the youth-category.

    *The team-relay is a race with a team of 3, which is set up in 4 elements: speed (running), strength (strength elements), technique (difficult obstacles) and team (overcome strength elements and obstacles with the full team). I ran the speed-leg and came in third, with that performance I was faster than the runner-up in the standard distance at the pro-category.

    I won the 2018/2019 season of survivalrunning (A-category) by gaining most points in races throughout that year. In 2019 I also won the Dutch survivalrunning championships in the A-category. The 2019/2020 season I was leading undefeated, but the covid-outbreak lead to me not extending my title. I had participated in 1 race too few halfway the season to have secured 1st place overall, but with all competition being canceled there was no opportunity for me to run that single race and secure the top-spot.

    Other: My association is Hang-On, which is located in Grote Bos next to Doorn. I am now living in Enschede and therefore I am only able to train once a week there. During the week I train twice a day, varying from running, cycling, strength training and climbing. I joined both Tartaros and TSAC to help train for obstacles and to blow of some steam after a busy day. On Saturday I train with Hang-On and on Sundays you can find me doing long and tough training sessions in the Utrechtse Heuvelrug.

  • Jelmer Vis - Gliding

    Most sports can be started and trained from a young age, but this is different with competition gliding. I am Jelmer Vis (24 years old) and when I was 14 years old, I started to train to become a licensed glider pilot. After two years of training and an exam I received my pilot license in the mail and that day I became a real pilot. My initial pilot training and further competition training was mostly done at airport Hoogeveen (EHHO). This is the place I grew up, but for my study I moved to Delft for HBO Mechanical Engineering. The combination of training for gliding and study was possible due to practical gliding\ training only being in the weekend. Now I am again living in Hoogeveen for training, and I am following the master Mechanical Engineering Design and Manufacturing.

    Gliding competitions are split into three categories: Senior, Women, and Junior. You are still a junior pilot until you become 25 years of age. And so, the last 6 years I have been flying in this category. I have participated in some smaller competitions and world events. My most proud events where my first competition where I place 1st against 20 national inexperienced competitors, the world junior gliding competition in Hungary 2019 where I placed 10th out of 42 of the best international junior pilots, and my last competition the European Junior Gliding Competition 2021 in Lithuania where I placed 6th out of 27 just next to my teammates.

    Upcoming is the Junior World competition in Czech, my last competition as a junior, where I will have the most experience and knowledge on how to win. Looking forward to it!