Posted Date: October 20, 2009
Learn more about Judge Siekmans, a soon-to-be three-time Cynosport World Games judge! By Brenna Fender
Gert Siekmans is a father of two children that he and his wife adopted from China. He lives on the east side of the Netherlands in the city of Hardenberg. He has been judging for Federation Dogsports of the Netherlands for 13 years and has judged Dutch agility championships and the 2006 World Agility Championship. In 2008 he was one of the trainers of the Dutch World Agility Championship team.
Mr. Siekmans judged at both the 2006 and 2007 Cynosport World Games. Read interviews from both of these years here and here.
Brenna Fender (BF): It's been two years since we last talked. How have you been?
Gert Siekmans: Very good. In the year after the Cynosport Games 2007 we welcomed three foster children in our home. They stayed one year in our family.
BF: Wow! That must have been interesting! Back when we talked before, you had on older dog that was retired from agility. Have you gotten a new dog yet?
GS: Not yet. Our dog Yentl is 13 years old now and when she isn't with us anymore we have plans to get a puppy. We have thought about several breeds but at this moment we haven't decided yet.
BF: How have you been keeping yourself busy in the sport?
GS: I judged several events in the Netherlands and was one of the trainers of the Dutch team for the World Agility Championship in 2008.
BF: What do you do when you aren't doing agility-related things?
GS: Nowadays I work as a teacher at a vocational trainings school. I teach communication skills for students who want to work as a cabin attendant [a flight attendant]. I love my job very much (I am sure that I have the most beautiful job in the world !).
I do have several hobbies. The hobby that takes up most of my time is soccer. Our two children play soccer and every weekend we visit their matches. Another hobby is camping.
BF: Do you do anything in particular to get ready for big events like the Cynosport World Games?
GS: Nothing in particular. I only spend more time in designing courses and testing the different courses with friends.
BF: Do you have any advice for competitors at this year's event?
GS: In my opinion is that "Have fun" is the best advice I can give. In comparison with some handlers in the Netherlands, I love the way most American handlers are proud of their dogs!
Brenna Fender is the editor for the USDAA's subscriber services portion of the website. She is also a freelance writer, wife, and parent of two dogs and two children. Please contact Brenna at Bfender@usdaa.com with comments, questions, or submissions.
Photo by Frank Uijlenbroek