Bert Jonker - Director/owner CLAFIS Engineering
CLAFIS is currently on almost all skating suits, but the greater part of the audience has no idea what the name stands for?
Why did you become a skating sponsor and ambassadoor of the KIA Speed Skating Academy?
"Simply to increase recognition of my brand name as a solid Dutch company. Sixty percent of our orders come from the government. Officials must know the name of your company and have a positive inclination to it. I also see our sponsorship as a social responsibility. I want to give something back to society from the success of our business.Beside that it is essentially necessary to support foreign skaters. Look, the Dutch have almost complete monopoly of the sport, from a business point of view as well as sportwise. Marnix Wieberdink has broken that, he is like a Robin Hood going in against the current. That deserves support. Furthermore skating itself is a very efficient form of sponsoring. You can match relatively low costs to greater effect."
Are you also a skater?
"I spent a lot of time in water during my youth. Swimming was my passion. Later I discovered skating. I reached the finish in the Eleven Cities Skating Tour in 1997, although I didn't get the medal. I did not have starting rights so I skated one day earlier. On ice I perform like a little diesel engine. I'm not fast, but I get there."