It didn’t take long for people to discover that I had a talent for the game. I was invited to join the weekly training sessions that are organized for talented children in the region. At the age of 11 I joined the Topsport fulcrum in Amsterdam. I still remember the many weekends I spent in different sport facilities to play Junior Master tournaments. My parents were always there to support me. It was a great time in my life, which I enjoyed a lot.
At the age of 13 I was invited to join the national youth team under 15. At this age I played my first big international tournament: the 8-nations in Blois, France. Whilst playing for the national youth team (until age 19) I won many prizes, amongst others 9 national titles: 2x men’s singles, 4x mixed doubles and 3x men’s doubles. Furthermore, I managed to win several medals at international youth tournaments.
When I finished high school, I decided to move to Arnhem where I could train on a daily basis at the Papendal National Sport Centre. Besides developing myself badminton-wise, I also find it very important to have a proper education, so I had to find a study which would also allow me to also attend the daily training sessions at Papendal. I decided to take up a Commercial Sport Economics study at the Johan Cruyff University in Amsterdam. Having to train at Papendal on a daily basis meant that I could no longer live in Haarlem. I moved into a room at the sport centre in Arnhem, which was a big change in my life.
Whilst playing in the Senior National Team, I have had some great experiences. I have participated in 27 interlands, 6 European Championships, 5 World Championships and a variety of other international tournaments.
The most beautiful thing of being an athlete is that you get to see a lot of the world whilst doing the thing that you love most. I have played tournaments in Canada, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, China and most European countries. You get to know other cultures with their values and habits and you meet a lot of nice people.
However, the most important thing for me is to pay attention to my body and stay in the best possible condition. I try to improve myself every day in order to reach my final goal: the Olympics, preferably winning a medal.