Pioneer Dick Kooyman about his #RoadToBEAT
My name is Dick Kooyman. I am 53 years old and I live in Zevenhuizen in the province of South Holland. At 14, because my grandmother was crazy about cycling, I joined the RRC Feijenoord cycling club in Rotterdam. Unfortunately, I did not reach a very high level due to the lack of good guidance. When my oldest son and later my youngest son wanted to start riding, I stopped racing.
With my son’s RWC Ahoy cycling club, I have coached 12- to 14-year-old riders for a total of 10 years. In addition, I was a member of the youth committee and managed the club clothing. This ended when my youngest son began riding with the new recruits in another club.
I came in contact with BEAT Cycling Club through your rider Piotr Havik, who is not unknown to me. I also recently heard a conversation on Radio 1 about the difference between a football club and a cycling team. The vulnerability of a cycling team, due to the high degree of dependence on changing sponsors, was emphasized again clearly. This issue stayed with me, and when I first came in contact with your story during the Six Days of Rotterdam, I was quickly convinced by your approach to change the sport of cycling sustainably, based on a club structure.
The plan to spend a couple of years building the team makes sense. Wise growth will allow a good foundation to be laid. I therefore hope that talented young riders will be scouted and BEAT will provide good guidance to truly enhance these talents in cycling.
I do not believe in a focus on just a star rider and making it big, giving others too few opportunities. You need each other, and having fun together is the most important thing to grow. Keep on doing this and I hope you will inspire more clubs to make cycling cleaner and stronger.
The more pioneers, the wider the base!