It´s been an ancient sport, jumping over a ditch with a pole. In Friesland we know this sport as Fierljeppen and it is still practiced by many people. The word comes from Fierljeppen "far leaping", long jump. They used to jump with a wooden stick over the water, now these poles have been replaced by aluminum and carbon versions. Regularly competitions or demonstrations are organized in the province, so be there! And maybe even try yourself? Anything is possible in Friesland!
In the wetlands of The Netherlands where Friesland certainly belongs to, for over a thousand years people jumped over the ditches . Soon, a form of competition arose, who can jump the widest ditch? The first official competition was jumped in the village of Baard in 1767. Since then, many things have changed. In the past they used to jump with wooden sticks over the ditches, where as today they use the aluminum and carbon versions to sling themselves over the ditches. The Dutch state record stands in the name of Bart Helmholt from Bergum since July 2014. He jumped 21,55 meter!
Many fierljeppen competitions are organized in the period from April to September every year. Of course you can come and see this unique Frisian culture sport. Everyone is welcome! You can view the calendar of events where you have to go to experience this. You will see that it is a sport where strength, coordination, concentration and perseverance mix together. One mistake, a wet suit is the result. You can go to one of the following villages to experience this real Frisian sport: Bergum, Buitenpost, It Heidenskip, IJlst, Joure and Winsum. Apart from viewing a match there is also the possibility to add an overnight stay. You can find them on our map!
Watching is fun, but it trying it yourself is even more fun! In the period from April to September it is possible to experience this Frisian sport at one of the eight clubs. For a pleasant outing with your sports club, company or group of friends, this is a very appropriate activity; laughter guaranteed. Each association has a specially built ramp so you can practice the basic techniques first. The associations are located in Bergum, Buitenpost, It Heidenskip, IJlst, Joure, Winsum, Grijpskerk and Zwaagwesteinde. Not afraid to get wet? Then for sure this is a must!