The star hockey player Eva Drummond-de Goede, who is about to finish the Master in Sport Management Amsterdam, with a scholarship provided by Telesport, reflects on how the master’s program has “helped me immensely in finding my own way”
The next win, another medal. It’s their passion for sport that drives elite athletes. Field hockey player Eva Drummond-De Goede, currently studying the Master in Sport Management in Amsterdam, is a fine example of that. At a young age, the talented field hockey player had already won a gold medal with the Dutch team at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. And at the 2022 Women’s FIH Hockey World Cup in July 2022, she won gold again. The World Cup was also her 25th title tournament.
However, for many top athletes—and Eva is no exception—the shiny medal has a flipside. Top sport takes up an overwhelming amount of time and attention, and there is hardly room left for other interests. “I never studied and during my hockey career I never wondered what I would like to do ‘later’. I don’t regret that because hockey gave me a lot and ensured that I could be at my best for a long time. But as I approach the end of my sports career, it is also becoming important to think about my future after hockey,” Eva said in the autumn of 2022 in an interview in De Telegraaf, when she decided to study the Master in Sport Management at Johan Cruyff Institute Amsterdam, with the help of a scholarship offered by Telesport. She also added: “If people asked me what I would like to do, I did not have a clear answer. But I think it will be clearer at the end of the academic year, when I hopefully will have completed my Master in Sport Management.”
The choice to give Eva the scholarship was not a very difficult one for Johan Cruyff Institute and De Telegraaf. It is part of the mission that Johan Cruyff once started—to offer athletes the opportunity to balance sport with studies, to help them prepare for their future, as a leader in the sports industry, which for the last 14 years has been fully supported by De Telegraaf. “With her tremendous experience in sport and good motivation, we believe Eva was the person who most deserved this year’s scholarship,” said Marcel van der Kraan, chief editor of Telesport, the sports section of De Telegraaf.
We spoke with Eva about how the Master in Sport Management Amsterdam is helping her in her dual career.
How does the Master in Sport Management help you?
The Master in Sport Management helps me a lot. First, because the fact that you have a routine in your studies is nice. And it’s also great to focus on something other than hockey, to do something else besides the sport you put so much time and energy into, and to think about life after my sports career as a hockey player and to build a network.
And how does the program help you in your hockey career?
As I just mentioned, I am more towards the end of my hockey career than at the beginning. It especially helps me to get an idea of what I might want to do after my hockey career. Of course, I am used to playing in a team, and during the program we often work together in teams as well. I like that. It’s nice to get confirmation that I like working in a team and doing things with others, working together towards a goal.
“I am used to playing in a team, and during the program we often work together in teams as well; I like that”
What have you found most surprising about the past few months?
I started this master’s program with an open mindset. No expectations, just start. So, in that respect, there weren’t any big surprises. I really enjoyed going on an international study trip together to Barcelona. I think that brings students and teachers closer together, which makes it special. All the site visits to sports entities we did were also very enjoyable and instructive, seeing things and how they are applied in practice.
From the study program, I especially like the group assignments and studying and being in contact with fellow students and professors. All the teachers are very accessible and very willing to help you. That’s very nice and helpful.
An eye-opener for me during the master’s program was also that you find out that as an athlete, you already know a lot of things, about how it all works. That you haven’t read all the literature, or that you don’t know the names of things, does not mean that you don’t know anything at all about it. So, I gained much more confidence in my abilities, besides hockey.
“Through the knowledge you gain during the master’s program, you see the things from the other side, and you develop a complete picture of what it all entails”
When you started the master’s program, you said in an interview for De Telegraaf, which we also published on our website: “After high school graduation, I hadn’t opened a book for 15 years. I’m not exactly a college girl!”. Can you reflect on that statement now that you have participated in the Master in Sport Management for several months?
It’s not that I haven’t opened a book at all, but it’s been a while since I’ve opened a study book, and I am indeed not a student. I get more satisfaction from doing things, I also think that my strength lies in that. Tackling things instead of hammering things into my head. So, that’s more of a confirmation for me.
How do you think athletes can contribute to the professionalization of the sports sector?
I think mainly because you are, or have been, a professional athlete yourself, you know what it is like to be on the other side. Through the knowledge you gain during the master’s program, you see the things from the other side, and you develop a complete picture of what it all entails. Athletes are driven, have ambition and like to work towards goals.
“The master’s program has helped me immensely in finding my own way, showing what my strengths really are, and in what areas I can improve”
And for you, to what extent is the Master in Sport Management important in that?
As I said before, I learned a lot. Because I had never done a study program, I was always quite unsure about what would come after hockey. The master’s program has helped me immensely in finding my own way. Showing what my strengths really are, and in what areas I can improve. Having an open mind towards myself and others and getting to know even more about myself.