Strings attached

Strings attached

A tribute to the unsung heroes. The ones who get up when we go to sleep. Those who make the world go round. Those whose work is often forgotten and taken for granted. Volunteers who live for their passion. “I wouldn’t want to get a penny for it, they already give me enough.”

 The sun isn’t awake yet but that doesn’t stop Hugo Verlinden, handyman of the local tennis club,  from getting out of bed. When I arrive, he is already hard at work. At first glance, the tennis courts look in good condition but Hugo thinks otherwise. “Everything has to be perfect, the season has just started but there is still a lot of work to be done.”

Volunteers like Hugo keep the world spinning. They are the very antithesis of being selfish. But does working for no money make one happy? According to a study by CBS (Central Bureau of Statistics), people who do voluntary work are happier than those who choose not to. 91 percent of volunteers said they were happy, compared to only 85 percent of people who don’t do unpaid work.

It is not the sport but the club and the people that make Hugo continue to spend his days at the tennis club. “I would fall into a very dark pit if I was not able to do this anymore. I don’t need to have any money for it, fully booked courts and happy tennis players already give me enough.”

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