Interview with Manon Kamminga (Netherlands)
Interview with Manon Kamminga
Hello Manon, first of all, congratulation for your titles this year! Could you introduce yourself?
Well, my name is Manon Kamminga, I've turned 21 in april and I am from Holland.
When did you start skating? (ice and inline)
I started inline skating when i was 8 years old. We have a track in my home town. A year later, I started to do races and the winter after that I also started iceskating.
Tell us a few words about your history on skates...
Well, really as soon as I started doing some races, I got on the podium a lot. I really enjoyed skating and I loved spending time at the track and on skates. I don't think I ever missed a training or a race when I was a kid. My last years as a junior were hard for me. I was already skating with the seniors in training. I was racing in Holland and I put a lot of pressure on myself for the races in junior, so those years weren't the most fun. The last few years I'm back to enjoying every minute of my skating life. I'm appreciating everything more and we have the most awesome group and coach to train with. Facilities are well organized and everyone lives close to each other. In that way we can train together twice a day the whole summer round. Even when we're not training a lot of the people go out for a drink or something together. We're a really close family.
Skating: is it a long term choice for your career or do you wish to choose another way?
Right now, skating is my life. I'm following a course in architectury, but there's no limit on the duration of that, so i'm taking it really slow. Some days i find myself thinking about it, and some days I totally forget about it. When skating is going good and I'm really busy on training I hardly touch my books.
Of course it's nice to have a degree and plans for when you stop skating, but right now I want to spend all my energy on skating fast. At the start line i don't wanna be thinking about the hours of training I missed because of my study. I wanna remember all the work that I've done and know that I'm as ready as I can be.
How do you combine ice and inline skating training ?
For me it's important that I have one coach for both. That makes it possible for me, it's still possible if you have a different coach for both but they will need to be able to talk together and make it work.
Really for me it's not a lot different way of training. Especially off-skates, the weights, bike rides, running, it's the same. On-skates of course it all changes and for me personally the ice is much more of a challenge. I have to work more on my technic and I have to focus more. When things go how you want them to go it's such a good feeling though!
To what extent are these practices complementary?
I very strongly believe that they only add to eachother. In Holland, there still are a lot of people that don't believe it's possible to combine the both, but I think that's really old school. When I was 15, I was asked by my ice coach at that time to choose between inline and ice too. I decided to leave. This was when Desly became my coach. She's a firm believer in the inline and ice combination. There's also more and more proof skating around. There is Bart Swings, Michel and Ronald Mulder, Heather Richardson, Brittany Bowe. And that's only a few names.
I'm noticing a big difference in the way pure ice skaters are looking at us 'inliners'. They are watching us, copying things and asking us for help more and more.
I think we should see that as a compliment and a motivation to work even harder!
7) How long do you work with Desly hill?
Around my 16th birthday I was asked to go on a training camp with Bianca Roosenboom and Elma de Vries to Australia. Before that I hadn't talked to Desly, but since then I've stuck with her. For me, it's really important to know how much she believes in me. In how much training I can handle and in what i can achieve.
Also she's not just a coach that writes my schedule for me. She's also a really good mental coach for me. She knows no limits, and is always willing to go that extra step for you. If it looks like something's not possible, she can always find a creative way to make it possible.
You have joined Powerslide's team in 2013, what does this partnership bring to your career?
As I joined I was thinking I would have some really fast and experienced people around me to train and skate with, but now, just before Worlds I found out it was more than that. Of course i learnt a lot. I became faster and learnt to race as a team more. It is such a nice feeling to be on the startline and be confident that the plan you made is going to work out because you have those strong girls around you. Apart from the races i also feel like i've gotten to know all of the skaters a bit better and there's always the good atmosphere. I would say the team is really laid-back and easy to be around (but i guess that's most of the inline world compared to ice). If there is people wanting to train with us, they just jump on and the group becomes bigger and bigger. Fun times those are.
What are your goals for the upcoming World Championships in Belgium?
To show that I have made a big step this year again. Last year the championships finished really good for me on the road with a gold, a silver and a bronze. Those were all won in rainy races, so this year I want to show that I'm not just good in the rain.
Is skating a popular sport among women in Netherlands?
When we race our national races we mostly have quite a pack on the startling. Up to 30 ladies some times (together with junior a though), but I think it should be way more popular for sure... I hope that these past european championships in our home country showed a lot of kids how exciting inline skating is and that they will start skating and tell all of their friends.
Inline skating seems to become more and more popular/important in the Netherlands, what do you think about it?"We have made some big steps in the past years"
I think we have made some big steps in the past years and with that we have earned a lot of respect from people and especially other sports athletes in Holland. They see how hard we train and how big our sport is. I still think that they don't respect us enough though, as at first the federation wasn't going to send anyone to the World Games in Cali. Not enough money and they didn't think we were good enough. Luckily they still let some of our skaters go, even though they had to pay their own way there. I don't think that's the way it should be. Two years ago the inline and ice federation became one, and looking to how big and professional ice skating is I didn't expect we would ever be in this situation.
The Dutch skaters are getting better and better on inline skates, how do you explain it?
Desly Hill. For me personally she's the one and only reason. She's made me the skater (I could even say 'person') I am today and I'm sure that with me a lot of my teams skaters agrees on that. Our federation hasn't been easy on her the last couple of years. They actually made it really hard for her, but she stayed strong and fought for us. Our hard work is paying of. People are starting to see that, and I hope more and more people will in the future.
Speaks: Dutch and English
Born in: Haulerwijk (NED)
Lives in: Heerenveen (NED)
Date of birth: 7 april 1992
Inline team: Powerslide
Ice-skating team: SPROG
Coach: Desly Hill
Hobbies: skating, snowboarding, reading books, watching movies, shopping
Photos: Timsimaging - Glenn Wassengerg
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