With the motto 'Mens Sana in Corpore Sano', a healthy mind in a healthy body, the student sports foundation Mesa Cosa has been championing student sport in Utrecht since 1991. Among other things, it does so through management of Sportcentrum Olympos. The Board, which meets around six times a year, comprises an independent chair, one representative from each organisation (the Sports Council, Utrecht University, HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht) and a partner from Utrecht Science Park. Together, they define the direction of student sport in Utrecht for the years to come. They also meet regularly with the Sports Council to discuss current issues within the clubs and to seek solutions to them together.
MICHIEL VAN DIJK
As a lawyer/partner, Michiel van Dijk specialises in sports issues and employment law. In his sports practice, Michiel primarily provides advice to sports federations, sports clubs and national and international elite athletes on a wide range of sports law-related matters, including doping procedures, sponsorship issues, selection issues and sports-related dismissal cases. He plays an active role in the world of sport, as board member, arbitrator/disciplinary committee member and player. Michiel is secretary of the Vereniging voor Sport en Recht (association for sport and law) and a member of the editing team of the Tijdschrift voor Sport en Recht (sport and law journal). He also publishes regularly himself and gives (guest) lectures on sports law. Michiel was chair of the Disciplinary Committee of the Dutch Rugby Union for eight years, and he is also a member of the Disciplinary Committee for Professional Football of the Royal Netherlands Football Association (KNVB). Michiel additionally fulfils a number of advisory roles for the Dutch Olympic Committee*Dutch Sports Federation NOC*NSF and the IAAF. Michiel is a former international rugby player, who played for the Utrecht Student Rugby Society (USRS) for many years, has run 25 marathons and, in 2012, was awarded the title of 'Fastest Lawyer'. After years of playing sports as a student himself at Olympos, it is now time to 'give something back'. As the new chair, he will endeavour to boost student participation in sport and to raise the profile of sport on Utrecht Science Park.
LEON VAN DE ZANDEN
Leon has worked for Utrecht University for many years and has been secretary general since January 2017. Before that, he worked in various roles at the university, as policy officer at the Faculty of Arts, as head of education policy in the Education & Research department and, between 2009 and 2017, as director of Education & Research. In the 1990s, he studied Dutch language and literature in Utrecht. Leon has been involved with student sport in Utrecht since 2009. As director of Education & Research, together with his colleague from HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht, he was responsible for the student policy of UU and HU, which, among other things, involved awarding grants to Olympos and scholarships to active student representatives. In recent years, Leon has been a member of the Board of Mesa Cosa. He believes it is important to promote student sport at university-level, not least given the motto on which the name of Mesa Cosa is based, because it gives students the opportunity to get the best out of themselves and to develop their skills by getting involved in administrative duties outside of their studies, and because it provides students with a social environment in which they can form friendships and feel at home. Student sport also plays a major role in the liveliness of Utrecht Science Park.
MARLON VAN LIERE
Marlon is the youngest member of USS Mesa Cosa’s Board and represents student athletes in Utrecht, in the broadest sense of the word. Marlon obtained a Bachelor’s degree in biology from Utrecht University and then went on to do a Master's in Sports Management and Sports Policy at the USG (Utrecht University School of Governance). Her background is with the student sports society STUdance where, after a year on the Board, she also sat on the Advisory Council for a number of years. Following her long-term association with STUdance, both as a student and beyond, she was keen to remain involved with student sport. She believes that having the opportunity to develop yourself as a person alongside your studies by working towards a common goal with your peers in a relaxed setting, i.e. to take part in sport, is extremely valuable and, more importantly, extremely enjoyable, and she wholeheartedly recommends it to all students! In her capacity as member of the Board of USS Mesa Cosa, she will therefore endeavour to ensure that all future students are given this opportunity. She works for software company Keylane and also enjoys taking part in sport herself. As should be clear from her involvement with STUdance, dancing is her preferred sport, ideally twice a week, and she also takes part in obstacle runs, yoga/pilates or bootcamps from time to time.
DICK VAN LOO
Dick van Loo has been a member of the Board of USS Mesa Cosa since October 2018 in the capacity of treasurer. Dick is keen to ensure that student sport in Utrecht remains financially viable in the long term, so sport can continue to connect people at Utrecht Science Park (USP). Dick is director of Business Control at HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht. He also represents this party on the Board. Before he worked for HU, Dick fulfilled a number of financial roles in the business world and in government organisations. In his free time, Dick plays a lot of sport. He is keeper for the veteran hockey team of VMHC Spitsbergen. In the past, Dick has taken part in triathlons, cycle races and runs. Dick was previously treasurer of the cycle racing club UWTC De Volharding in Utrecht.
Dr Mariëtte Oosterwegel is managing director of the Hubrecht Institute for Developmental Biology and Stem Cell Research and the Westerdijk Fungal Biodiversity Institute. Both are research institutes of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) and are based in shared premises on Uppsalalaan, diagonally across from Olympos. As director, Mariëtte translates her own research experience into strategy, policy and operations. She believes it is important to bring a human dimension to the organisation and strives to provide conditions that enable each and every individual to take pleasure in their work and, as a result, to function in the best possible way. Sport can play a key role in this, and Mariëtte therefore aims to encourage more employees from Utrecht Science Park to use the facilities that Olympos provides. She herself enjoys swimming, walking and cycling. (foto door Thijs Rooimans)