Meet Bob. He has been working at Bundeling for a year now. From Rio to Business Developer at Bundeling, in this article you will read how Bob ended up with us thanks to our partner BrabantSport.
Tell us Bob, where does the story begin?
I think at birth, from then on I think I got a hockey stick in my hand. I was pretty much brought up on it, because I come from a real hockey family. I think I started playing hockey when I was 4 or 5. Anyway, as soon as it was allowed.
And did it go well from the start?
Well, I’ve always done a lot of sports. Tennis, soccer, surfing, but I always liked hockey the most. When I was 14 or 15 I joined the regional selection. From there you could play against other regional teams to eventually join the Dutch national team. That all went very quickly, when I was 15 I was already allowed to play with the Dutch team under 16.
At first I played for Helmond, but that was not very common for a national team player, so I quickly made the switch to Den Bosch. I played there for 3 seasons until I turned 18. Then I went to Eindhoven and played there for 12 more years. Now I’ve been playing in Helmond again for a year, but before that I played in Antwerp for 3 more years. In total I played hockey for 18 years at the highest level.
Did you also play for the Dutch national team all that time?
Yes, I played in all the teams. Under 16, under 18, young Oranje and the Dutch national team. Every 2 years that you get older you are of course eligible for a higher team. From under 18 I was able to go to the European Championships with the young national team. From there I was also allowed to go to the Dutch team a year earlier.
And when did you go to the Olympics?
I was allowed to come along to the Games twice. In 2012 in London and 2016 in Rio de Janeiro
What was it like for you to go to the Olympics?
Special. The first time was very special. I enjoyed the first time the most. There I felt uninhibited and could really soak it all in. We were really good there as well. We lost the final 2-1, which was unfortunate, but we played a great tournament there. I remember standing on the field a few times with goose bumps because I enjoyed it so much.
Second time, I was already full of expectations. You expect to be with the team again and you have expectations of how it will go. Before Rio I had the feeling of ‘we just have to win’. Then you start looking differently at the tournament, eventually we ended up 4th which was a shame. Still, it was a great experience.
And how is hockey going now?
Now I am back at Hockeyclub Helmond. In itself it is still serious but it is a step back. In perception as well as the number of times I train. Life doesn’t revolve around hockey anymore so it’s fine, fortunately I still enjoy it too much to stop.
How did you come to Bundeling from field hockey?
Coming out of hockey, I was affiliated with Brabant Sport. Brabant Sport was set up by the province of Brabant to promote sports in the region. On the one hand, the organization consists of a business club, the proceeds of which go to sports clubs and events within the region. One example is the Vuelta stage in Breda last year.
At Brabant Sport they see sports as a connecting factor. With this in mind, they founded Team Brabant Sport. This is like a community in which top athletes from Brabant are asked to be ambassadors and in this way form the face of the sports world in Brabant. I was also part of this community and gave clinics at sports clubs and schools.
Eventually I came in contact with Bundeling from Brabant Sport. Bundeling created the Business club app for Captains of Ambition. The Business club of Brabant Sport. From this club events were organized where members of the business club and Team Brabant Sport came together. At that time I was still playing professionally but was already thinking: ‘what comes after hockey?’.
At one of these events I told them that I had stopped playing international hockey, so I had some time to spare and was looking for a nice challenge. At that time I had just quit another job, which turned out to be nothing for me. Pim was standing at the table next to me and he heard me and said:
“Shouldn’t you come and have a look at Bundeling? I have always played soccer and came to Bundeling from soccer, I think your situation is similar to mine. Bundeling employs a lot of people who have something to do with sports.”
No sooner said than done. I have now been working at Bundeling for a year.
And how do you like it?
I feel like it’s going well. It’s a whole different world, of course. It’s more ‘sales’ than I expected. On the other hand, I wouldn’t dare call it sales. I do business from such a warm network that it quickly becomes personal. That makes it fun. I wouldn’t like cold acquisition. What I also like is gaining new experience. I hope it continues to be a good fit for the time ahead. The work at Bundeling suits me well as a person.