When I watched the Netflix show “Tiger King” in the beginning of the year, I would never have thought that this would be one of the more “normal” things in 2020. The pandemic, lockdowns, more lockdowns, natural disasters, the craziest election in the US, and a society fighting to stay alive in many different ways. In the world of sports, it wasn’t that much glory either: no Olympic Games, no Euro Soccer, no Wimbledon, no March Madness, and a lot more no. But a lot of yes too! Quite a lot of yes, actually. Let’s look back on our 2020 highlights.
The term student-athlete is very important to us at Slamstox. Our student-athletes are the key to all of our activities. They are the reason we come to work in our nice office at SX Eindhoven and the reason we passionately work on their futures. A group of motivated and talented people of whom we are extremely proud. During the year 2020, we have welcomed 150 new student-athletes to our community. In total, we have worked for over 350 student-athletes with 11 different nationalities, active in 40 different states across the US. Varying from national champions in tennis, golf, track & field and swimming to national level soccer and field hockey players. Varying from students with 4.0 GPA’s to students getting ready for an Ivy League education in the US. Every student-athlete has his or her own story, making it truly special!
This year, our student-athletes showed us that they can do much more than studying and playing their sport. Covid-19 changed all of our lives and the world around us. This means you have to be flexible; you have to search for new solutions, and you have to be ready at all times for that one moment of opportunity you might get very soon. Our student-athletes and their parents have shown the utmost flexibility to organize this as successful as possible. We would like to thank you all for this! Many universities in the US struggled as well. A switch to 100% online classes, closing of campuses, no visas for international students and a lot of uncertainty. Despite these difficulties, our student-athletes kept their grades high and made sure to train hard and stay fit. Together with the incoming class of 2020, we managed to get almost everybody started on their student-athlete careers in the US. You all showed that whatever happens, you keep on fighting for your goals. No matter what, we find a way and work it out!
To keep up with the growth of Slamstox this year, we’ve strengthened our team with five new team members. They are all working from our office in Eindhoven:
Onno Gras: Started in January with his final internship, graduated and is now our digital wizard and marketing chief.
Thijs Seijler: Started in January with his final internship, graduated and is now our college golf specialist and after college manager.
Lorenzo Avanzi: A Brazilian goalkeeper who lived in the US for 6 years. He is now our newest soccer specialist working from our office in Eindhoven.
Iris Mol: Found a way to help us with marketing & communication in her already busy schedule full of school and tennis. A very valuable and fun addition to the team!
Marique Dieudonné: Started in September as a field hockey intern and learned a lot in short period of time. You guys will hear a lot more about Marique in the near future 😉
Over the past months we have started a new and interesting ‘After College’ service. We are now helping our returning student-athletes to find a job in the Netherlands. Research shows that our student-athletes develop extremely valuable skills during their time in the US, that are wanted by many employers in the Netherlands. Think about discipline, top sports mentality, leadership, communication, flexibility, teamwork, pro-activeness and more. In addition, all of our student-athletes speak fantastic English and during their time in the US they build up a large international network with connections across the world. Earlier this year we have started a new collaboration with Welten. Welten focuses on entry-level jobs for people seeking an ambitious career in business, IT and finance. In other fields, we are in talks with different companies as well. These collaborations allow us to offer our student-athletes the opportunity to start an accelerated traineeship while working for nationally recognized companies. Our student-athletes Anna Sovic and Lars Schouten even have started their careers at Welten already and will experience great growth and fun times while working there! For us this is not only fun to do, but also a valuable addition to our services and proof that the college careers of our student-athletes are valuable outside of sports too!
Obviously, we all hope for a 2021 with less Covid, more sports and new perspectives and opportunities. But let’s not forget the positive stuff that happend in 2020 and keep building on our goals. Stay on the path, student-athletes! We are very proud of you, and curious to learn more about your top 3 goals for next year. Let us know how we can help you achieve them! We’re looking forward to attacking it together, let’s go!
Slamstox wishes everybody great holidays and a healthy and happy 2021!