Reinier van Dantzig is an entrepreneur, politician and since the beginning of this month, Movember Run participant! Why did he register for our hairy run? Read this blog post and find out.
Can you tell us something about yourself?
'My name is Reinier, 28 years old, and I am - among other things - the owner of Vondeltuin in Amsterdam's Vondelpark. I love Vondelpark and spent my entire life close to the park. In 1999 my parents bought a little pancake place inside the Vondelpark and I started doing the dishes after school for pocket money. My family really built the place from scratch and nowadays my mother and I are the proud owners of De Vondeltuin. Aside from this, I'm also a part-time politician for the leading political party of Amsterdam D66.'
How do you go from a life as an entrepreneur to a political career? 'It was actually the other way around. I studied Economics and got the opportunity to complete my internship in the First Chamber.' Was it really that easy? 'There is a bit of luck involved. You need to be at the right place at the right moment, but obviously, you also need the skills to do the job, and all those things worked out for me.'
What does Movember mean to you?
'Prostate and testicular cancer are two of the biggest killers for men, I believe. I think it's great that an organisation like Movember raises awareness and money for such a good cause,' says Reinier.
What made you decide to support Movember? 'The father of a close friend of mine was diagnosed with prostate cancer a while ago. When something like that happens very close to you, you start to think differently about life.'
Was it your own initiative to sign up for Movember, or were you invited by someone else? 'Peter Kwint (politician with the political party SP, red.) started with Movember, and soon others - like myself - joined in, which became the 'Moalition'. As you may know, Peter Kwint also works at BKB, the marketing and PR agency that organises Movember in the Netherlands.'
So by now the political scene in Amsterdam is a hairy bunch? 'It's starting to get there, and Peter and I are doing our best to convince all of them to sign up.'
Is this the first year that you are raising money for Movember? 'I actually started in 2012. Then I stopped for a year, and signed up again this year. It's quite an effort to walk around with a moustache for a month, because there aren't many people that look good with one. It's for a good cause though, and that's why I signed up again.'
Do you think your political ideas have something in common with Movember? 'Tough question! Yes, I think so. I think that, as a politician, your goal is to make the world a better place. Movember has the same goal in that sense.'
Should politial parties get involved in Movember? Is it something that they should support or stimulate? 'What I like about Movember is that it's not just another big fundraiser with its own TV show. It's something that started from the community, and that makes it so appealing to many people. I do think that you can make a statement as a politician by signing up for Movember, but I don't think there should be too much involvement. That would take away the fun part of it.'
Why did you sign up for the Movember Run?
'You guys contacted me on Twitter a while ago, and it seemed like something fun to do. I have to admit that I'm not that great at running, but I thought it was a good occasion to participate. I think that it's a great idea to organise a run to raise awareness for men's health. And, not to forget, it's around the corner for me!'
Last year we had a couple of guys that dressed up as their favourite Movember hero. Can we expect you to dress up as your favourite politician? 'I can think of a few moustached policians, but we'll see. I will enjoy it no matter what!'
What do you think makes the Movember Run a success? 'Well, I like that it's only 5k. That makes it accessible to everyone. I also like that there's a fun element, which works really well with the Movember theme.'
Are you excited enough to already say 'yes' to next year's Movember Run? 'I give it a good chance, but honestly, the moustache is a bit annoying, so there's a chance that I will join wearing a fake moustache.'
That's okay, we also accept women wearing a fake moustache. The most important thing is that we all enjoy the run and raise money for Movember. Thanks a lot for this interview and good luck with the Movember Run!