Throughout my whole life I have always actively engaged in sports. I played handball, football, table tennis, tennis, judo, swimming, cycling and running. Although having a deep interest in all sports, football is where my true passion lies.
When I was a little girl, I played football enthusiastically for 10 years. Back then I thought that it would be great to organise a sports event, a tournament, because people enjoy it before, during and after the event. For me it is a full package of entertainment for many people!
After I have worked 10 years as a communication consultant at different employers (see for more details ‘Business Career’), I was wondering if I wanted to do this kind of job till I retire. And then I remembered my dream as a little girl! What if I was able to combine my profession of communication with my passion for sports?
To me the ultimate world sports event is the Olympic Games. The Netherlands are interested in organising the Olympic Games in 2028: exactly 100 year after ‘we’ held the games for the first time. And that was the missing piece of my business career puzzle. From that moment my personal goal is to be part of the organising committee of the Olympis Games!
Beside my employment, I also want to develop my personal skills in order to become a large scale event organiser. Therefore I have swapped my previous position as a communication advisor after almost 15 years for the job of a general senior project manager. In this position I am responsible for the entirety of projects. These projects consisted of between 5 and 25 people with a budget that ranged between a couple of thousand to millions of euros.
My position consists of the flood defence projects and water related projects in the Netherlands. To me it is a perfect combination of my communication and projectmanager skills. And it is very similar to organising sports events: both are large scale events, involving a large amount of money and stakeholders (from local to international) with their own interests. The ultimate aim of completing the project or holding the event has to be achieved together. This is where my business skills and experience can be combined with my love of sports. The ability to plan such events and projects is another step on the road to my Olympic ambition!
Since 2018 I am Board Member for the sport events organisation ‘Le Champion’. They organise 80 events on a yearly basis with the focus on running, walking and cycling. My main focus in the Board is on the subjects Volunteers, Marketing & Communications and Events. In 2015 I already joined the Administrative Board ‘Volunteers’ for this organisation and I continue doing this.
I really want to share all my knowledge and experience about volunteers and in return I have the opportunity to learn from the best people how to organise a (sports) event. A perfect win-win situation.
Since May 2018 I am Cofounder, Board member and Chairman a.i. of the cooperative women’s indoor football (in Dutch: Coöperatie Eredivisie Futsal – Vrouwen). I used to play outdoor and indoor football myself and I really enjoy it to be part of this great cooperative.
Johan Cruyff Foundation
In addition to my work, I devote free time to working as a volunteer for the sport industry. One such organisation is the Johan Cruyff Foundation in which I have been involved since 2006. This foundation is an initiative from the world famous football player, Johan Cruyff. The mission is to bring “youth in motion” and does so by supporting sport projects for youth with disabilities.
I volunteered for 5 years for the organisation Right to Play , an organisation established by Johan Olav Koss. He is a very famous Norwegian ice skater. He won golden medals during the Olympic Games and several World and European Championships. The mission of Right to Play is to use the power of sports to help children to deal with poverty, war and sickness in the underdeveloped areas in the world.
In addition, I devote my spare time to seeking out activities where I can become involved. One example is the European Youth Olympic Festival (Utrecht, 14-19 July 2013) where I am one of the 1.250 volunteers (so called Festival Makers). Another example is the first World Championship Cruyff Courts in Amsterdam (6 – 8 June 2014). And I am part of the Operational Technical Team, more specific, member of the TIC (Technical Information Centre) / SID (Sports Information Desk) team during the sport event the ‘European Championship Athletics in Amsterdam‘ (2016). In the year 2017 I am part of the team ‘Volunteer Management’ during WEURO 2017, UEFA (football)Women’s EURO 2017. I am based in Utrecht, stadium De Galgenwaard.
For these sports events I wrote a weblog on this site (these are in Dutch).
The next step on the road to my olympic ambition, is to find a job in the sports industry. I am really looking forward to work full time in this industry where I can combine my professional skills with my passion for sport.