Seventeen years of sports and amusement at Ahoy

Erasmus Memories: Jolanda Jansen

Employees of Ahoy and the Municipality of Rotterdam were eagerly waiting to hear back from the Eurovision Song Contest organisation in a blinded room, guarding them from the press that was waiting outside. Ahoy director Jolanda Jansen walked out of the room with a serious face, but luckily that turned out to be a decoy. Rotterdam got to host the next edition!

Erasmus Memories: Jolanda Jansen (2)

Jolanda smiles warmly when she sees the video message from alderman Saïd Kasmi, while remembering that moment. The Eurovision Song Contest clearly has a special meaning for her. Firstly, because of the people: the messages from singer Jeangu Macrooy and executive producer Jessica-Jane Stam clearly touch her, but also because of the sheer size of the project. During the live show there was so much television-, lighting- and sound equipment hanging from the roof of Ahoy, they had to test the carrying capacity of the 50-year old building to make sure it wouldn't collapse.

This event may have been the icing on the cake for Jolanda's career, but it is sure not the only event she worked on since she started working for Ahoy in 2004. As a fan of sports events, she fondly remembers the cycling event The Six Days of Rotterdam where the famous Dutch cyclist Leontien van Moorsel ended her professional career. Additionally, she loves to remember the seventeen editions of the ABN ANRO World Tennis Tournament she organised with with the tournament's director Richard Kraijcek. In another video message the 'Wimbledon champ' tells us more about these collaborations.

Critical thinking

Concluding his message, Richard brings up the critical questions that Jolanda always asks. Initially, he remarks, he was not the biggest fan of that characteristic. Jolanda smiles, and acknowledges that she can be critical sometimes. It is a skill and characteristic that she developed during her studies Business Administration at Erasmus University. In these years, she learned to critically assess truths and to value opinions wisely. She often thinks back of the Eurekaweek, when she arrived at Rotterdam Central Station as a nervous first year student. Whenever she is back on campus Woudestein, for a guest lecture for example, she gets right back in touch with that warm feeling.

Watch the full video to see all video messages and join Jolanda in looking back at her experiences at Ahoy.

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