It all started in 2011 when two friends entertained the idea of combining strength sports and social activities in the Tilburg University Sports Center. Can you connect like-minded people with the same passion for lifting and introduce a social aspect, where they can broaden their network and find friends for life, along the way? Furthermore, are you able to provide all of this while being based on a foundation of ever growing scientific content, from which members are able to reinforce their knowledge and sharpen their skills during the year? With all of this in mind, ‘’market research’’ was performed over a period, in order to learn if there would be sufficient interest in such a platform. It didn’t take much time to learn that there was more than enough demand, which resulted in further elaboration and planning. Shortly after this, on april 11th 2012, TSSV Spartacus had become reality with the first board consisting of Sjoerd van der Zee as chairman, Jeroen de Beer as secretary and Tijn Schraa fulfilling the role of treasurer. (See the first board here)
The first years
The board of 2013-2014 decided that there should be a new logo. One that would draw a clear picture about what we stand for, but also represents the classical element of Spartacus. According to Spartan folklore, “Zeus” himself made the first draft, which led to the logo that we still proudly bear to this day.
A more prominent change was the introduction of Committees in the same year, which laid out the foundation for a more active and sustainable association. This gave rise to more active members and took pressure of the board, so that they could focus on the long term vision of Spartacus. Every major aspect of Spartacus now has its own committee, which is the creative force behind all activities.
During the years the administration has seen some changes. All official documents have been updated, FOSST’s bookkeeping software has been implemented and we have started using direct debit for the collection of the yearly contribution. With the help of our Tech Team a fully automatic application system got put into place, as well as new mailing software.
In order to promote competitive sports in our association, we became part of the Koninklijke Nederlandse Krachtsport en Fitness Federatie – Sectie Powerlifting, or KNKF in short in 2014. This is the Dutch federation that oversees all powerlifting competitions and is linked to the world renowned IPF. Since that year, we started organizing our own powerlifting competitions, among which the DRC Open Powerlifting cup and the Dutch national championships, which is still held in our beloved Sports Center with the help of our volunteers. In 2017, one of our athletes introduced powerlifting champion and Titan spokesman Pjotr van den Hoek to Spartacus, who later became our head powerlifting coach under employment of Tilburg University. To this day, Pjotr leads our powerlifting team with the help of two of our own lifters.
FOSST has always supported us in our pursuit of competitive powerlifting, and with winning the FOSST Contributes Price on two separate occasions, we have been able to purchase our first competition barbell, as well as our very own competition rack! And as the association that is tied to fitness, it comes as no surprise that we always have had good relations with the management team of the Sports Center. In 2019, for instance, we advised them in the purchase of new training materials. Besides that, our construction committee is responsible for the deadlift platforms in the gym.
In 2015 Spartacus started a collaboration with Wilkin Sports to provide their members with its own Spartacus gym wear! From 2018 and onwards the clothing in our webshop is provided by Tigerprint Merchandise, with great results. We also changed our name from TSSV Spartacus to TSKV Spartacus. This seemingly small change emphasized us being a strength sports association, which clarified our identity and promoted national recognition. The organization of the first members weekend to Antwerp in 2015 has been a milestone as well. From that year onwards the members weekend has been a recurring event with great success!
The most recent development is (as you can see) the internationalisation of Spartacus. With the university appealing to more and more international students, we have made the switch in 2020 to have all our formal events held in English. We hope to anticipate future developments and hope to keep on providing the latest information, practical knowhow and most of all a tight knit community of gym geeks for all in need of gains!