April 27th

Talents to look out for this week

Urban Sports Week Amsterdam gives young urban talents the chance to shine. Four youngsters you should keep an eye out for this week.

Luciano Balestra (20)


Luciano Balestra is a member of freerun group Back2BasicsPK and one of the organizers of Gravity XL, taking place Sunday at EYE.


Balestra is studying psychology, but currently spends more time freerunning than following lectures. He started freerunning 5 years ago and soon discovered the beauty the sport. Being the best freerunner is not what counts most for Balestra. For him and other freerunners it’s all about being able to obtain full control over your body and movements. That's exactly what he's planning to show at Gravity XL.


Jaro Frijn (15)

Inline skating

Jaro Frijn is junior world champion inline skating and one of the favorites for the NK Spine Ramp title on Friday.


After trying BMX and skateboarding, Frijn switched to inline skating at the age of 6. He’s been spending most of his spare time at the Olympiaplein and the Museumplein ever since. Frijn took part in a competition for the first time in 2007 and has been dominant in all age categories for the last 8 years.


He is the current world champion under 16 and aims at becoming world champion in the senor category one day. But first he’s planning to beat all of his older opponents at Urban Sports Week Amsterdam.


Nicky van der Veen (25)


Nicky van der Veen is graphic designer for a living, but his big passion is BMX. He works close to the Marnix Bowl, where he trains almost every day after finishing work.


Van der Veen, who grew up in Scheveningen, started BMX at the age of 14 and rode his first competition just two years later.


At USWA he will be taking part in the BMX Championships Park, Dirt and Street. However, winning competitions is not his biggest desire. Van der Veen prefers shooting BMX videos and posting clips of himself and his friends doing tricks.


Cherise Schelts (16)


Cherise Schelts is a former Dutch champion Panna Knock Out. She will be taking part in the European Championships Panna on Sunday.


Being a girl with a passion for football hasn’t always been easy for Schelts. Many times she had to show her skills, before she was allowed playing with the boys.


Schelts started football at the age of 4 and played her first tournament aged 9. Despite her nerves she managed to reach the final that day, beating many older girls.


Schelts is known for her strong technical skills and tricks, which suits her not only in Panna but also in regular football matches. She played for the Dutch national junior team until a knee injury prevented her from continuing. But she still dreams of a professional career at Ajax or abroad.



*This is an adaptation of an article which originally appeared in Parool April 25.