As part of our celebration of International Women’s Day 2020, we are running a series of interviews with women involved in hockey, today we are chatting with Mies Veeger who is currently interning with the EHF.
EHF: Mies, you have just started an internship with the EHF as part of your studies in International Sport Management, what drew you to the EHF?
Mies: I am a third-year International Sport Management student at the Hague University. As part of my last year’s curriculum, I have to fulfil a graduation project during a half-year internship in an international (sports) business. Since I was a young girl, hockey has always been a big part of life. Once I was introduced to de EHF via a friend, the EHF turned out a perfect place for the internship. Working in a hockey-related organisation is a great opportunity since I can use my learned knowledge for university and both my passion for the sport to gain even more knowledge about working in the world of sports.
EHF: You are currently working with the EHF’s Development Manager to deliver our Twinning Programmes – can you give us an insight into the Twinning programmes and how important sharing knowledge is in hockey?
Mies: The twinning programs links a dutch club to a European national federation to share expertise in some part of their organisation. The KNHB and the Dutch clubs have a lot of knowledge and experience in running a club, setting up development programs for their players, officials and coaches and the challenges that come with facilitating hockey. Other countries could “reinvent the wheel” but another option is to share the knowledge and discover which elements could also be applicable in other organisation/countries and boost the development of hockey throughout Europe. To make sure hockey is growing internationally and remains supported by the National Olympic Committees. The growth of these emerging hockey nations is needed. Between the start of April and the end of June, all the twinning partners will meet for the first time, in The Netherlands, to outline the specify outcomes for both parties!
We spoke to Mies more generally about her vision of gender balance and her personal experience, so far!
EHF: You are a young woman, starting out in your professional life, do you see equal opportunities for all genders in the workplace in 2020 – or how can the genders work together to make that better?
Looking at the group of students I worked with during the last 3 years, out of the 35 students 8 of them are women. Still, in most of the projects, I ended up working with one of the few women on the course. I think some of my fellow students were not that keen on working on football cases with the women… Considering this experience and assuming my fellow students will also end up in the business of sport, this is unfortunately in trend with the situation nowadays. However, in the few business experiences, I had so far, I never experienced a form of inequality. The step from saying gender is not an issue to really see this in practice, is the biggest struggle but luckily I’ve ever been in a situation this struggle had an effect on me. I have to admit to so far in the process of entering professional life I am not afraid me being a woman will be a problem. Hopefully, my viewpoint on this will not change radically in the coming months.
EHF: We hear that you are scoring well in your hockey league! Tell us a bit about your hockey career?
Mies: haha not the top scorer, but in the top 10 together with 2 teammates, I think i am currently 4/5 because I could not play the last 2 games due injury. I play for the first women’s team of Hudito, in Delft. I started playing there as a 6-year-old and never left. From an early moment in the club, it felt like a “safe home” where I made, and still do, a lot of friends and spent a lot of time.
EHF: How do you see hockey being a part of your life in the future?
Mies: Next to learning hockey skills and the social part, I learned about coaching, discipline, responsibilities, cooperation, social behaviour and all other things through the activities I did and still do. Using my position as a player of the first team to teach kids more about hockey but also other life skills is hopefully something I can continue doing once I stop playing. This could also be outside of hockey, but using sport as a tool to develop a community is something I can hopefully contribute to in the future.
The EHF is delighted to have an intern of Mies’ quality working with us for the next number of months. We wish Mies well in being a part of the important Twinning project led by the KNHB and EHF, and we hope that her experiences of the workplace, where gender is not an issue continues to be her experience for many years to come! #EachforEqual #IWD2020
You can read yesterday’s interview with Alex Danson here.
Photo credit: René van Zon