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The Arnhem hall: a big step forward

A big step forward

Bringing Papendal to the Olympic level. That was the goal of the NOC*NSF when it started the “Revitalising Papendal” project in 2001. The presentation of the master plan was part of this project. The plan to change Papendal into an Olympic Training Centre where talents could develop themselves. Where elite athletes could prepare for delivering top performances. One of the four big projects described in this master plan was the realisation of an innovative sports complex. This sports complex would carry the name Arnhem hall and would officially be opened late 2012. The Arnhem hall seemed to be a big step forward for Papendal. Experts consider the hall to be one of the best five sports accommodations in the world.

The Dutch team was very successful at the Olympics of 2000 in Sydney. But host country Australia, which has about the same number of residents as our country, achieved more than double the amount of medals than the Netherlands. And fourth place on the medal table. The foundation of their success was laid at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra. Inspired by this training centre, a plan was made to change Papendal into an Olympic Training Centre. With top facilities in the fields of training accommodations, recovery, education and medical. At that time, Papendal had already acted as an elite sports training centre for years. However, the existing facilities did not meet the required standards for the top performance level. Thus, something needed to be done.

Multi-sports hall

Therefore, the NOC*NSF started the “Revitalising Papendal” project in 2001. The presentation of the master plan was part of this project. City and province approved the plan in 2003; we started carrying it out two years later. The realisation of an innovative sports complex is part of the master plan. A multi-sports hall. A training location which elite athletes from different sports disciplines can use. Flexible. A hall that complies with recent sports specific requirements. Where adequate elite sports-related facilities are available. Such as recovery facilities, room to work and a restaurant with elite sports nutrition. The foundation for the Arnhem hall has been laid.

Masterplan Papendal

Capacity problem

In 2009, the plans for the Arnhem hall became concrete. The hall was needed to be able to provide more elite athletes with the best possible facilities. There was a capacity problem. Badminton players, volleyball players, handball players and wheelchair basketball players all used the same hall for training. And that could not be scheduled if all elite athletes train twice a day and go to school in between. Some capacity problems were solved with the use of temporary halls. An extra weight training room. Sprint hall. A temporary volleyball and badminton hall. But the number of elite athletes who train @Papendal continued to grow. It was not enough. There was a need for a permanent multi-sports hall, provided with the latest technological gadgets, with an elite sports appearance. A hall to be proud of.

From camera system to recovery facilities

In the preparatory stage, we asked the coaches who train @Papendal with their elite athletes an important question: which sports facilities are essential for your programme in order to be able to take the next step? The answers were used as input for the design of the multi-sports hall. The responses varied. A good sports floor with the right cushioning. Good lighting. A camera system for movement analysis. An indoor athletics track. Throwing cages. A restaurant with the right sports nutrition. Workstations. Recovery facilities. Our team used the answers and the first drawings appeared. The building activities were started in 2011 and in the course of 2012, the Arnhem hall slowly came into being.

Succesverhaal, innovatie, Arnhemhal op Papendal
Succesverhaal, innovatie, Sprinthal in de Arnhemhal

Technological gadgets

The Arnhem hall was opened festively on 18 December 2012. The innovative sports complex, the multi-sports hall was a fact. The hall consists of two large ball sports halls, a technical athletics room for throwing and high jump, two large weight training rooms of which one is provided with recovery facilities, a combat sports hall, sprint hall, coach square with workstations for coaches, offices and an innovative Elite sports restaurant. The hall is provided with the necessary technological gadgets. Each room contains a camera system with monitors, for instance. For movement analysis. In addition, a card system has been introduced. Every elite athlete has its own Papendal card. With which he can open the doors to the different areas, but also pay for his lunch in the Elite sports restaurant. The hall was officially put into service by our elite athletes in January 2013. And they enjoyed doing so. Every elite athlete was enthusiastic about the Arnhem hall. But not only were our elite athletes enthusiastic.

In the years that followed, we have welcomed thousands of people @Papendal. We have shown them Papendal, with the Arnhem hall as a flagship during tours for instance. People from businesses, government, sports lovers. But also many international delegations. Delegations of other elite sports training centres, of Olympic committees. They visit us to find out what we do at our sports centre and how we run things. Moreover, we have welcomed many international elite athletes. Volleyball teams, wheelchair basketball teams, athletes, archers, BMX cyclists.

Succesverhaal, innovatie, Arnhemhal op Papendal
Succesverhaal, innovatie, krachttrainingsruimte in de Arnhemhal

The attention for what we do @Papendal has grown tremendously the last few years. With the developments of the past ten years and primarily the Arnhem hall, Papendal has become leading. The multi-sports hall with its Elite sports restaurant is considered one of the best worldwide. And we are proud of this.

Curious? Check the video above or have a look inside.


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