Eight years ago, Jacqueline Veen (45) in Norway how great outdoor sports are. Now she has her own company with which she gives sports lessons in the nature of The Hague. Nature’s Gym it’s called. “I walk in sportswear almost all day.”

Jacqueline lived in Norway for four years for her husband’s job. There she discovered her passion for outdoor sports and training. “I was a member of an outdoor sports club there that was run by a young couple. When she became pregnant, their attention slackened and I saw that nice club fall apart. That’s why I took it over. That started with the daily management and after that I also started giving training. When we came back to the Netherlands I started training here to become a boot camp instructor. Ever since 2018 I have my own company.”

Nature’s Gym

Now Jacqueline trains ten groups of about twelve people. She also gives private lessons. “You attract the customers that suit you anyway, so I promote my training for 29 plus. My youngest clients are now in their early forties and my oldest client is 200. My goal is to make every session different. We run fast, often go boxing and do exercises. Sometimes I bring material for this, but often we use our own body weight and, for example, benches or trees. ”

“The great thing about exercising outdoors is that you can go anywhere”, says Jacqueline. “I often start in the Westbroekpark and from there we go, for example, to the beach in Scheveningen. I also give training in the dunes near Wassenaar and in my own neighborhood in The Hague North. We often go there to the Haagse Bos or to Clingendael.”

Online sports

Since the corona period, Jacqueline has also been giving online sports lessons. “When indoor sports were banned, I thought for a moment that I had gold in my hands with my outdoor training. But, then sports in a group outside was also banned. That’s why I started giving my training sessions online from my own backyard. I liked that surprisingly well. You actually give a kind of presentation and in the meantime you are exercising yourself. Now I still give a weekly online session and record workout videos that I sell.”

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8)Jacqueline with a PULLKA sled Photo: Jacqueline Veen


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Another training that Jacqueline has recently given in the dunes and on the beach at Wassenaar is PULLKA. You walk through nature with a sled with sand on it and two walking sticks. “That was conceived by Diederik Veerman”, says Jacqueline. “He has started to come to terms with the loss of two close friends who were killed in a polar expedition. The sled and the poles are derived from the equipment that a polar explorer takes with him.”

“With PULLKA training you can adjust the intensity very well to your own needs”, explains Jacqueline. “You can put more or less weight on your sled, walk slow or fast, and take a slope or not. In the meantime, we also keep nature clean because we have a shovel that we use to pick up litter.”

Physically, mentally and socially

“When I started Nature’s Gym I was very ambitious and I wanted to expand it throughout the Netherlands”, Jacqueline concludes. “Now that ambition has changed and I’m focusing on my own region. I really enjoy giving training myself and having contact with the participants. Training is of course physical, but it is just as important that customers start to feel better mentally. In addition, thanks to the group training, it has a social element. I really like that trinity.”

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