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Dam tot Dam event sadly cancelled this year

– Coronavirus has thrown a spanner in the works, and sports organisation Le Champion has had to make a difficult decision –

The board of the sports organisation Le Champion has had to make a tough decision to cancel the Dam tot Dam event which was to be held on 19 and 20 September 2020. The decision follows on from consultations with mayor Jan Hamming, in his capacity as chairman of the Safety Region, the alderman for Sport in the municipality of Zaanstad, and representatives from the safety services concerned. The municipality of Amsterdam is also involved and supports the decision. Important considerations for the decision include the health of the participants and spectators, the pressure on the medical/emergency services, and the government’s measures with regard to major events.

“We are encouraging people to contribute towards a healthy society. The health of participants, spectators, volunteersand employees is always our top priority. In the past few weeks, we have carefully examined how we could develop a creative solution with fewer participants which would also be safe and responsible. This, however, turned out to be unrealistic. All of those involved are disappointed by the decision we’ve had to make. Collective discussions have confirmed the mutual trust and genuine partnership which we have developed over the past 36 years.” says Ron van der Jagt, general director of Le Champion.

Alderman for Sport, Gerard Slegers: “Across the Netherlands, many people watch the Dam tot Dam weekend each year. The sporting challenge, the atmosphere and the welcome. Unfortunately, Le Champion has had to cancel the event due to the corona crisis. A brave but logical result. Safety and health must take priority over everything else! We hope that all runners will come back to our beautiful Zaanstad next year.”

Le Champion understands better than most that this will be a huge disappointment for the sportspeople involved who were hoping to take part in theDam tot Dam event. Many of the registered participants are members of Le Champion or part of a group or company. They can now cancel their registration and request a refund of the registration fee. We are looking at other compensation for the remaining participants. All of the participants will be notified individually.

Historic decision
Normally, the Dam tot Dam Weekend, with 83,000 participants, is the largest sports weekend in the Netherlands. During the third weekend in September, four events are planned: the Dam tot Dam Wandeltocht, Damloop by night, Dam to Dam FietsClassic and Dam tot Damloop. This is the first time the event has had to be cancelled. The main event, the Dam tot Damloop race from Amsterdam to Zaandam, has been held since 1985. Since then, the Dam tot Damloop has expanded to include 46,000 participants, making it the world’s largest 10 English Mile event. Over the course of the years, events for walkers and cyclists have been added to the programme, the most recent of which was the Damloop by night, which was added in 2014. 

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus in the Netherlands, Le Champion has had to cancel twenty events. Director Ron van der Jagt: “The fact that we have had to add the Dam tot Dam event to this list of cancellations is, of course, a genuine disappointment. We want nothing more than to inspire people, both young and old, to take part in sport and exercise. But that’s on hold for the time being. We are now investigating whether we could offer (virtual) alternatives. We are also hopeful of a future without the corona crisis. One thing has been clear in the Netherlands recently; people want to go outdoors, they want to exercise and go out on their bikes, run or go walking.”

You can find out more about the consequences of the cancellation of the Dam tot Damloop for you, as a participant, in the Q&A below. If your question is not listed, please contact us using this link.

Q: Will I, as an individual participant, have my registration fees refunded?
A. This decision has had a huge impact on us as an organisation. We kindly ask for your understanding and patience with respect to how we are dealing with the situation. Once we have more information about compensation, we will contact you individually.

Q: Will I, as a member of Le Champion, have my registration fees refunded?
A. Members of Le Champion may cancel their registrations and any extras until 11 August. We will provide you with further information individually.

Q: Will I, as a business team, have my registration fees refunded?
A. Businesses that have registered for the Dam tot Dam Businessloop can cancel their registrations until 11 August. We will provide you with further information individually.

Until 15 June, 10% will be deducted for administration costs. If you cancel between 15 June and 11 August 2020, 50% of the costs for the cancelled team(s) and any extras will be charged. After 11 August 2020, there will be no further refund of the registration costs or the costs for any extras.

Q: Will I, as a charity, have my registration fees refunded?
A. Charities that have registered for the Dam to Damloop or Damloop by night can cancel their registrations until 11 August. We will provide you with further information individually.

Until 15 June, 10% will be deducted for administration costs. If you cancel between 15 June and 11 August 2020, 50% of the costs for the cancelled team(s) and any extras will be charged. After 11 August 2020, there will be no further refund of the registration costs or the costs for any extras.

Q: Will I, as a clubcard holder, have my registration fees refunded?
A. Clubcard holders (charities with a three-year commitment to Le Champion) that have registered for the Dam tot Damloop and/or Damloop by night can cancel their registrations. We will provide you with further information individually.

We are making an exception to the general terms and conditions for these clubcard holders. Instead of a right to a 50% refund of registration fees and any extras, until 15 June 2020, only 10% will be deducted in administration fees. There is also no obligation to re-register in 2021 and 2022 for Dam tot Dam Clubcard teams.

If you cancel between 15 June and 11 August 2020, 50% of the costs for the cancelled team(s) and any extras will be charged. After 11 August 2020, there will be no further refund of the registration costs or the costs for any extras.