Photo: Badminton Europe / Mark Phelan
Get to know Imke Van Der Aar
Date: 3/16/2020 1:39 PM
Published by : Emilie Sommer (BEC)

Good vibes, good food and Robert De Niro. 

These are the things that make Imke Van Der Aar smile. Born in Haarlem, (not New York, like De Niro), but the Netherlands. The 22 year old started to play badminton when she was 10 at BC Duinwijck. 

In an interview with Imke Van Der Aar, we asked her some different questions, to get to know the Dutch doubles player better. 

At tournaments, when you are not in the venue playing or practising. What do you like to do then?

- If I have time, I like to explore the city with a nice walk, get a good cup of coffee, finding a good spot for some food or if we have an apartment, I like to cook myself as well. Otherwise, in the hotel room, I like to put music on and get some good vibes going. 

As some of you may already know, I am pretty active on my social media because I like to do things there and also have a small degree in that. So, that is something I spend some time on. Making nice videos while I am at tournaments and giving the people back home a little insight. 

Playing a lot of tournaments can be quite expensive. How do you fund this?

- That is totally true. The national team is supporting part of the program we are playing, but that is not enough. I play two leagues, one in Denmark (Team Skælskør Slagelse) and one in the Netherlands (BC Dropshot). I am earning money by playing matches there and for the rest, I have a few small sponsors. But it is hard sometimes to put all your earning immediately back in your career again. 

And I think especially when you get injured, people think you can save some money when you start playing again. But what they do not realise that your body is actually your work, so if I cannot play, I cannot earn money. At least that was the case when I was injured last year. 

If you were not playing badminton, what would you like to do?

- There are three things which are high on my list:

1) I could see myself working as a sports marketer: creating concepts with a sporty touch on it. 

2) I like to cook and love food (like I already said many times). Later I want my own lunchroom/restaurant. I like to discover new dishes when I am in a restaurant and try to make them when I am back home. So, creating my own menu, decorating the plates, styling the place. I can imagine myself doing that. 

3) I also really like to travel. Discovering the world, meeting new people, finding nice food hotspots. I guess this is something that everybody in their twenties wants to do right now. 

If you had the chance to have dinner with any person in the world, who would it be?

- That is a tough question because I think so many people in this world are very interesting and you can learn a lot from. 

But if I have to choose one person, dead or alive: I think it would be Robert de Niro, he is a very funny guy, still a great actor. But besides being a great actor, he is an ambitious businessman, who has set up several companies and a co-ownership of a very well-known restaurant, Nobu. So yes, that guy knows what he is talking about. 

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