Meet the Team – Emma & Leanne

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Emma van Dijk is one of the coaches of Human Power Team 9. This year’s Chief Operations is Leanne van Bentem. This ‘Meet the team’ they will both introduce themselves and tell more about their tasks within the Human Power Team!  


What is your background and what experience do you use in the Human Power Team?

Emma: I am currently doing my first year of the Master Human Movement Sciences. The Human Power Team seemed to be a great addition to my studies since I can bring theory intro practice. It is a great preparation for later because I want to work in the professional sports field.

Leanne: I have studied Life Science and Technology, so my study is not related to the team. But I had experience with PR and Acquisition due to committees I have done. I really liked doing so and wanted to do more with it. I also wanted to get more management skills.

Emma: Would you like to do something with this later as well?

Leanne: Yes, actually this year I found out I wanted to do something else. So next year I am going to do a different study. As a Master I want to do Industrial Ecology which is a bit more management related.

Emma: I want to combine research with practice. I want to perform research into points of improvement and new sports innovations. This way athletes can get better with the aid of new designs. It’s quite funny but this year I got way more interested in cycling!


That does not seem weird since you spend a massive amount of time on the project. What is your most special experience this year?

Leanne: I think for me it was our Design Presentation. The fact that the press releases we sent out were picked up by the media was pretty special. With a different project you don’t get as much exposure for what you are doing. What was yours?

Emma: I think for me the highlights still have to come. We still have to start cycling in our own bicycle and also train on higher speeds. For now it is nice to see the progression of our athletes. We keep this in check with several progression tests in which we among other things measure the VO2 max and the maximum sprint power. We also look at the trainings we come up with to see if they are able to do it.

Leanne: A different important moment for me was the moment the design for the sticker for on the shell was sent, this meant that all our larger partners were known to us. 

Emma: I think a negative big moment will be when our athletes fall down with the VeloX 9.


What does your week look like?

Emma: I work for the Human Power Team when our athletes are able as well. I am not like you bound to working from 9 to 17. There are days when I am only working on HPT. Those days I am discussing our plans with Jan-Douwe, my fellow coach, having meetings with the team and coming up with trainings schedules.

Leanne: My week is quite differently. I am working full-time but what I do differs a lot. Some days I am working on the team’s finances or calling new partners. Today I have been adjusting things on our website and of course I manage the operations department of course.

Emma: How would you describe your management role?

Leanne: I try to be the link between the other departments so I need to know what everyone is working on. Within the management we keep the interest of the team in mind. Next to that I am using a new accounting program this year with which I manage the team’s finances.


Are we going to break the World Record?

Leanne: If it is up to the PR, yes!

Emma: And if it just comes down to the athletes absolutely!