Club History

Donar's History

GSSV Donar 1881 is the oldest active fencing club in the Netherlands

We were founded on January 17 1881, as a subsidiary association of the Groningen Student Corps "Vindicat Atque Polit" (Vindicat for short). The history of student fencing in Groningen predates the founding of Donar, and started with the founding of Schermschool Mars in 1848, also a subsidiary organization of Vindicat. This fencing club fused with Vindicat's gymnastics association Wodan to form GSSV Donar 1881. 

Donar is the Germanic God of Thunder (known to English speakers by the Old-Norse name "Thor"). It was common in the late nineteenth century for student association to be named after Gods, and both our parent clubs were also named after Gods; Mars being the Roman God of war, and Wodan (more commonly known to English-speakers as Odin) the Germanic God of wisdom.

In the first half of the 20th century, multiple sports were practiced at Donar, including basketball, volleyball and boxing. The different branches of Donar all went their own way in the second half of the 20th century, and the fencing club split away from Vindicat in 1966. Other daughter branches of Donar that still exist today are the basketball club Donar and the volleyball club Donitas.

Although Donar is a relatively small fencing club, we have had a couple of successes at the national championships. In 1992, Geke Kleefstra won the gold medal on ladies foil, and in 1997 Shahram Masoumi won the gold medal on gentlemen sabre.

Now, the archive committee in our club is researching more about the rich history of our club. Many great findings will soon be published on this page as well!