Erik Boertjes - Manager Affinity Groups & Partnerships Allianz Netherlands Group NV
How did this come about?
"Last year Marnix Wieberdink invited us to a World Cup tournament and we were impressed by his enthusiasm to make his dream come true. From an iron to a speed skating academy, fantastic! A very impressive achievement in such a short time. Our cooperation also makes it possible to have interesting meetings with other sport lovers like KIA en G4S. Allianz in addition is an international insurance company that insures extraordinary objects and the KIA Speed Skating Academy fits into that category. And gives us, as a company, the opportunity to allow our clients to make acquaintance with this sportive initiative.
Is there a link with skating sports?
"Not in a direct manner, but we find the social aspect of the skating academy sympathetic. That aspect is traced back, among others, another international Allianz sponsorships. Look at our engagement with Formula 1, among others, the sponsoring of the safety-car. We thereby draw attention to traffic safety, as is fitting in our social function."
Have you ever skated?
"Very often and a lot. I could, in a manner of speaking, skate before I could walk. But never on skates with long blades. In my youth I used to play ice hockey. I was pretty good in it, but definitely don't draw a full house when skating on long blades. We at Allianz wish Marnix success and many champions. It is beautiful to see how he offers athletes the opportunity to make their dreams come true."