Everything can happen if you forget your wheels after a race. In July 2019, Pepijn van Elzakker competed at the Dutch Championship Mountainbike at Watersley Sports & Talentpark. After the race, Pepijn forgot to take his wheels home. Later that summer, Pepijn’s father came to Watersley to pick up the wheels and got into a conversation with Kelvin Hilgeholt, employee of Watersley Sports & Talentpark. And that’s where Pepijn’s story began.
About two weeks later Pepijn came to Watersley. We had a cup of coffee, talked about his ambitions as a mountain biker and he told us about his Olympic dream. Together we explored the possibility of a move to Sittard, where he could focus on his development as an athlete. Immediately contact was made with Pepijn’s secondary school to explore if a switch to Trevianum was possible and within a month, Pepijn was living, training, and studying at Watersley Sports & Talentpark.
In the fall of 2019, a TalentNED meeting took place at Watersley for athletes who could potentially participate in their program. As a Watersley resident, Pepijn spoke during this meeting about his experiences since moving to Watersley Sports & Talentpark. His speech allowed him to do an internship at TalentNED.
In the past year, he worked hard to develop himself as a mountain biker. And hard work pays off. This month he officially joined the TalentNED mountain bike team. Pepijn is chasing his dream at TalentNED: “My goal is to get everything out of myself and to be among the best in the world. I look forward to participating in the Olympic Games one day!”.