Dutch family business Janssen-Fritsen started in 1950 in Helmond as a factory for the production of playground equipment and has grown into a company specialised in movement education and gymnastics, renowned for its high quality. The company supplied sports equipment for the Olympic Games in Mexico, Munich, Barcelona, Athens, Beijing, Rio and Tokyo.
Janssen-Fritsen usually supplies educational institutions, municipalities and sports clubs and equips these indoor sports facilities with wall and/or ceiling mounted equipment and a storage area with moveable products, mats, balls and cabinets. They then maintain the facilities with maintenance and inspections.
‘With good equipment we ensure safe movement education. Safety is our guiding principle’, says director John van der Horst.
Janssen-Fritsen makes exercise a sport. John, enthusiastically: ‘We always think about how we can challenge young people and adults to exercise with motivation. We keep that goal in mind in everything we do.
We like to design products that enthuse them. For example, we have come up with new mats and we think about colour and graphics even on the walls around them.’
Janssen-Fritsen tailors the gym to today’s world.
The possibilities are endless: from freerun blocks and wall jumpers to interactive basketball rings or from smart clips and calisthenics to ninja equipment. We talk to specialist teachers,’ says John. ‘And with parties who have a vision on motoric development.’
Former owner Jacques Janssen is the initiator of Sports for Children. He wanted the family business to be of social significance. Current director John van der Horst has taken over the baton.
‘Janssen-Fritsen has always been linked to Sports for Children’, says John. ‘This is how we show our identity.’
‘Part of our work involves safety inspections and maintenance at existing locations throughout the Netherlands. This is used by many of our customers. We collect sports equipment and attributes that are no longer usable and donate them to the foundation in Helmond. There, in the warehouse, they are repaired and refurbished with the help of volunteers. Most of the equipment is donated to countries where there is no money for these kinds of materials, and at the same time we can do circular business. Items that are not suitable for reuse are taken to waste processing companies, where they are recycled responsibly.’
‘From materials that are unsuitable for sport, but that can be reused, artists and craftsmen make cabinets, desks, chairs, stools, bags, backpacks, cushions and other fun objects. These original items are for sale on Sports for Children’s Game-On label. This way, they raise money for the transports.’
Through social media, Logistics Coordinator Stefan Groothuis gets in touch with people in countries that are in urgent need of usable and safe sports and games equipment. Stefan coordinates the logistics process to and in the warehouse and ensures that the refurbished sports equipment arrives at the right place. He tells about his experiences: ‘I have seen gymnasiums that look empty and neglected, where there is hardly any sports equipment. Or if there’s any, it’s often broken and dangerous to use because of lack of maintenance. Gym teachers play tag or football with the children.
Stefan maintains the relationships and looks for companies when he needs help. For example, he has involved Matras Recycling Europe BV as a new partner in Sports for Children. Another important partner and link in the process is Van Spreuwel Transport.
‘Sometimes sports teachers elsewhere in the world don’t know exactly how to use our materials,’ says Stefan. ‘These exercises are unknown to them. Then I set out a track to demonstrate what they can do with the equipment.
watch this impressive film made in a very small village in Romania. Our lorry could hardly reach its destination. Help came from all sides. And then, all those happy faces… that really moves me.’