Belonging to the tallest of the team you would not automatically assume that Willemijn started playing with an old stick that was chopped off first to fit her. That was when she was about 3 years old because her brother and sister did it too. Now times have changed. Using a 38” stick, Willemijn’s reach is feared on a national and international level, playing for the Dutch National team since 2011. Her talent, which she did not think she had much off anyhow is knowing when to make the tackle. A sensation, an urge to make a move, which cannot be trained very well – it has to be felt. To get to where she is now she had to work very hard, almost being “fanatic” as her first coach describes.
Willemijn has played for the Larensche Mixed Hockey Club since she was 19 until 2016, when she started playing for GHHC Groningen, where she still plays today. Being a rock in the back field, she has made her debut for the national team in 2010, having played around 100 games. In 2011 at the champions trophy she was nominated for the world’s most promising youth player of the world.
What many stories cover when speaking about Willemijn is her injury in a practice game just before the Olympics of 2012. This is a memory and a pain that will never leave her, but she has trained relentlessly to fight her way back – at the World Championships in Den Haag in 2014 she got herself the gold medal that she deserved before as well.
Those who know her can assure that there is a lot more to her then maybe immediately meets the eye. Witty, sarcastic, driven, chaotic and “always late” – as she describes herself, with a grand sense for humor and equality, Willemijn aims to get the best out of herself and out of others at all time. Becoming a criminal lawyer, while taking as many Portuguese vacations as possible, Willemijn is on and off the field always on to something great.