Marnix Wieberdink, With Compliments PDF Tulosta Sähköposti
Kirjoittanut Marnix Wieberdink   
16.02.2011 09:51

Profile and plans for the future of a vital person, having generated capacities
for the international and, thus, also for the Finnish speed skating

Salutations from Marnix Wieberdink,
developing speed skating and sponsoring skaters

My name is Marnix Wieberdink, currently I live in Inzell, Germany, and my profession is being the managing director of Sport Navigator Group. Sport Navigator.NL originally was a company which I founded about 8 years ago with the intention of finding sponsors for just foreign speed skaters. Right now, the company exploded in a very successful way, because we are supporting more than 250 speed skaters, representing more than 27 countries. Even though it was a very successful start of the company I was not satisfied myself.  I wanted to do more than only sending money to skaters and countries. At the other hand, I also learned that in many cases, only sending money is not enough. What countries need more is knowledge, experience and vision.

Speed Skating Academy
With our newest initiative, the international “KIA Speed Skating Academy”, we try to establish an academy which will enable coaches and skaters to share experiences. We hope to be supported by the ISU, because, as Mister Cinquanta himself personally wrote to me in one of his emails, it is not my obligation to develop the sport, but it is the responsibility of the ISU so we will see. Anyway, by starting such an initiative we are 100% convinced that the whole sport will benefit and the whole sport can grow worldwide.

Family news
About my person, I am married with Svetlana Kaykan, a Russian speed skater, who is very fast at the 100 and the 500 meter. This season she will not skate, because we became parents of a little princess named Sofia-Michelle, she was born on the 22nd of December. Which was nice, because this is exactly the birthday of the father of Svetlana. Svetlana is from Russia, I am from Holland and we live in Inzell. We are very dedicated and committed to speed skating and to our project in Inzell.

Further development required for speed skating
The speed skating world for me is very interesting but very old fashioned and very conservative, we have to be careful because our sport is in danger. If we won’t have a higher level of our sport broad wise, the sport will die in 15 or 20 years from now, because the interest in the sport will change. And that is very dangerous and we need to make sure that that will not happen. So thanks to my sponsors KIA, G4S and Clafis, we are able to finance our newest initiative. As said, for some countries it makes no sense to send them money, even though we send 10 times more money, they cannot build an ice rink, they will not have a good educated coach, they don’t know how to prepare their blades, and so on. 

With Jeremy Wotherspoon, the current world record holder in the 500 meter
, we have a perfect coach who is very dedicated to help athletes from countries that have a lack of experience and knowledge. Our concept is simple: we teach the athletes how to eat and we teach them how to sleep and rest. We will also teach them how to prepare their material, how to measure their rock and their bending and so on. If they do know that, than they can train better and because they can train better, they will skate better. It is not that difficult, but we see a lot of skaters struggling and we are absolutely convinced that we can make the skaters perform better. Together with the ISU, as a sort of guide, we are developing now a sort of “skater selection principles” so we will have a fair and objective system of how we select the skaters and from which country. This “skaters selection principles” is objective and the system will select and judge the athletes, so it is fair for everyone. Anyway, there is a lot of work to do to further develop the sport. 

Own media team
Also, if you ask my opinion, there is a lack of media attention and we are considering of establish our own international media team, so we can generate more publicity for the sport in several countries worldwide. That is very important, because there is no attention of the media. The young kids on the street do not know that there is a sport called speed skating anyway. The problem is that the speed skating sport has not changed during the last years. And if you follow the media and the reactions of the fans it is clear that something needs to be done in order to keep the sport attractive for the future. It might be that in early days 60,000 people came to big competitions in Moscow and Sweden or where ever, but right now the offer of sports is so massive, that we need to fight for the attention of the audience. This is also not our obligation, it is something the ISU should activate more stronger than they are doing right now. I know that within the ISU people are working very hard and very constructive to prepare our sport for the future. I have good hope that within 10 years from now, the sport is more popular than the sport is currently.

The most memorable competition 
Regarding the most memorable competition, I have to mention the victories of Kyu-Hyuk Lee. Kyu-Hyuk Lee is one of my first friends in speed skating ever. I met him when I was 16 years old and Kyu-Hyuk Lee was 13 years old, so we know each other already for 24 years. Funny thing is that we met each other in Inzell. For me it was the first time that I visited another country, for him it was the first time that he travelled from Korea to Inzell. From that moment on we became friends and we stayed in touch and nowadays he is one of the big guys in speed skating and I am very proud that he is 4th time world champion, what makes him one of the hero’s in speed skating.

Memories of Finland
I am sad because I never visited Seinajoki before, but of course I visited Finland. I had a couple of meetings there with Janne Hänninen and Mister Potka, who was at that time the President of the Finnish Speed Skating Federation. Already for many years right now, my company and it’s sponsors KIA, G4S and Clafis are the main sponsors of the national Finnish Speed Skating team.

Wish inspiration for the skaters in Seinäjoki during Feb 25 - 27
For all the fans and the young people competing in the World Juniors Speed Skating Championships in Seinajoki I wish them a lot of inspiration and above all, dedication to become one of the big top skaters in the future. You know, I am not so talented in my life with special skills, but I can tell you this, I will never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, ever give up. Because if you want to achieve your goals and if you dream of something big, just make sure that it happens, that is all, life is not that difficult. And that is the same in speed skating, if you want to be a top speed skater, make sure you become a top speed skaters. And if one of the young speed skaters need any help, let them contact us, because that is what we are in the speed skater world: for speed skaters who are dedicated (if you are not dedicated just call your uncle for help, than we are not interested.)

At last I want to kindly ask everyone to pay attention to our website

and from the 10th of March to visit the website to follow the latest news. I think that our website has a lot of nice content, a lot of cool pictures from all the skaters and a lot of video’s can be found there. So wish you all to enjoy and may the best win. And if you don’t win today, tomorrow will be another day.

With sportive regards,
Marnix Wieberdink

Viimeksi päivitetty 16.02.2011 11:57