Playground De Splinter reopens

Splinter Spektakel
Photo credit: Studio040

Playground de Splinter in Eindhoven reopened on Sunday, a month after being closed due to aggression by visitors. From now on, security guards, dubbed as ‘Atmosphere Managers’, will keep an eye on things. On this first Sunday in June, everything went smoothly at the playground.

Security in playground

Security guard Todo is a man not to be trifled with. He stands in a blue jacket with the inscription Atmosphere Manager at the entrance of the gigantic playground, De Splinter. The name Sfeerbeheerder was chosen deliberately, he says: ‘Enforcement and security are often seen as fake police, an atmosphere manager is something completely different. We are there for adults and children.’ The friendly and good-humoured Todo says almost all problems that arise can be solved with talking. ‘ If someone smokes here or drinks alcohol, I speak to them about it,’ he says.

The problems are mainly caused by adults, says Todo: ‘ The worst is when children use swear words. Then parents get involved and sometimes they even get physical towards other people’s children. That’s not acceptable.’ Todo, who himself often comes to De Splinter with his children, finds it deeply sad that security and supervision is needed : “I think it’s the biggest nonsense ever, that we are needed here. I have been coming here for years and the fact that we are needed here is something I had not hoped for or expected, but unfortunately it is necessary”.

Playground manager Richard Raaijmakers welcomes the arrival of the Atmosphere Managers. He does not want to go into detail about the aggression that occurred. What is certain is that tempers ran high at the entrance when the playground stopped letting people in because it was too full. ‘With large crowds, it becomes difficult to oversee everything,’ says Richard. The Splinter is seven football pitches in size. ‘I am super happy with the atmosphere managers so we can safely open again. They are coming to help us throughout the summer.’

‘Only affordable outing’

On this first Sunday in June, the Splinter is not very busy. A large family sits at a picnic table with the children. They are overjoyed that the playground is open again, says a father, Melvin: ‘I love it. It is hearty fun and affordable here. This is the only affordable outing with the kids, where you as a parent can also sit comfortably.’ That from now on there will be some kind of security guards walking around, Melvin is fine with that: ‘Yes of course, that’s fantastic. You can just safely let your child play here, and it’s clean.’


Translated by: Anitha Sevugan

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