Flowers to commemorate the man who died during the Geldrop Highland Games

In the field near Geldrop Castle where Sunday’s Highland Games ended so fatally for Jan, 65, children are playing. In the flower garden, where the victim was fatally injured by a metal ball, people enjoy the beauty of the flowers and the shade provided by the trees. The only traces of the strange accident are a bench with a few bouquets of flowers and a notepad where people can leave a message in commemoration of Jan.


Jos, who came to take a look at the temporary memorial, was there on Sunday: “I was watching the matches with my wife when things went wrong. The 20-year-old throwing the metal ball, a giant man over two meters tall, lost his balance. When the bullet went over the hedge and we heard screams, followed by dead silence. People were shocked out of their minds.

The burning question in many people’s minds is: how could this have happened? “We won’t be able to answer that question,” says Jan Verbruggen, coordinator of the Sensory Experience Garden. “It’s like that, you can’t go back in time”.

Pilot project

The Highland Games at Geldrop Castle was kind of a pilot project, says Jan, a trial run. “It was fun. The atmosphere was good, people were enthusiastic, the venue spacious enough to host the event. But the misfortune of a ball that went off course because of a person who lost the balance turned the situation into a tragedy.

“I don’t think we’ll forget it anytime soon,” says Jan, “and this memorial will become a permanent part of the garden.

Source: OmroepBrabant

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Jennifer R. Strohm