Marcel Boukens Director/owner of Boukens ICS
What has Boukens ICS to do with speed skating?
"The abbreviation ICS stands for Ice and Climate Solutions, which means that we are doing business in artificial ice and the climate control which is part of that. About 10 years ago, we started building high performance ice rinks, in cooperation with Butter and Energy of Bertus Butter. We started with the renovation of the Thialf Stadium in Heerenveen, in which we renovated the air circulation for example. After that we builded the ice rinks of Kolomna in Russian and recently the oval of Astana in Kazakhstan. Bertus the one who constructs the ice rink architecturally, we are responsible for translating this in the technique which is being used. The climate in the hall, the lighting, the cold technique and the operating systems, all these aspects which are very imporant for the quality of the ice rink. Every time we start to build a new ice rink, we have new techniques to use. For example, now in Astana we have improved the water treatment techniques, to prepare the ice. During the Asian Games, which were held recently, it was clear that this is a fast track. Eleven out of twelve Asian records were broken. The ice rink in Astana really is a top location, a complete facility which has everything a high performance top sport facility should have."
How did you get in contact with Marnix Wieberdink?
"In speed skating you get to know each other quickly. In Eastern Europe, where Marnix was a lot, we have a lot of contacts as well. That is how we kept meeting each other. And through Marnix' contacts we were able to check the reactions of the skaters about the quality of the ice."
And how did you end up at the KIA Speed Skating Academy?
"Just because we think it is a really good initiative, which can only be positive for the speed skating sport. We have become ambassador, so we have an own room in the Academy. Skaters will not only skate in our ice halls, but also sleep in our own room. Great, don't you think? I don't mind that we did not build the ice rink in Inzell. It is just not possible to do all possible projects. Now, we have been asked for the oval in Sotchi, for the next Olympic Games and our main goal still is to cover the ice rink in Medeo. That truly is a dream."