Ronald Rotteveel - Owner Sidijk BV
What is Sidijk?
"Sidijk is a company that was founded in 1978 and makes all kinds of products for Sports, Fun and Industry. Most of our products are based on PVC material, which we use to make air and foam boards for example. In Sports, we make protection boards for speed skating sports and ice hockey, which you can find around the ice tracks to protect the athletes when they crash. Also in gymnastics you can find our products, for which we produce various foam and air mats. Our products need to absorb the impact of a crash or landing after a jump, so that all this energy does not have to be absorbed by the athlete himself. Besides sports, we also produce all kinds of other products for Fun and Industry. Our clients come to us with specific needs and we try to make custom made solutions for them. "
So Sidijk has a lot of connection with speed skating?
"Yes, we do a lot in speed skating. We have made protection boards for multiple ice tracks in the world, both for long track and short track. But we also make smaller, specific products for these sports. The short track athletes sometimes have very particular ideas about what would help to improve their facilities and training ways. Then we help out and make them these solutions. We also make fun articles for on the ice, so that children who are skating, feel like they are on a playground. I feel it is very important that children should have fun on the ice, otherwise speed skating could lose a lot of kids to other sports. Besides that, most of our employees like the sport itself as well very much. We are based in Friesland, so everyone has some kind of connection with the ice. Personally, if there is natural ice, I am as much on the ice as possible. Together with one of my kids, I make tours through our province."
How did you meet Marnix?
"I am not sure when I met Marnix for the first time, but I think it was at Thialf a few years ago. After that, I read about his project in Inzell and I thought it was great what he was doing. Last winter I was in Inzell one day, also because the ice track there is one of our clients, and I thought it would be nice to take a look at the Kia Speed Skating Academy. I just went by and Marnix welcomed me very warmly, directly offering me to have lunch with the team and we talked about his project. "
So you have already seen the Kia Speed Skating Academy?
"Yes and I was very impressed by what I saw. Marnix has really build a great project and such an initiative should have a lot of support. It is great that he gives speed skaters from smaller countries the opportunity to use facilities which they cannot find in their own country. It should help speed skating forward, which is very important for the sport. I think it is really special that he dared to take the steps he took, without any certainty. But at this moment, you can see that it really works."