Joel Van Huizen, 26, National Hockey Athlete
Hockey is a legacy sport in Joel’s family, passed down from his grand dad to his father and uncle before he took on his role as a professional hockey player representing Malaysia. Although he grew up with a strong passion in sports, he is also an active member of Project Liber8, an NGO that spreads awareness on human trafficking.
Tell us a little bit about what you do.
I’m a full-time professional hockey player, representing Malaysia and I’ve a business degree from Help University. I’m fully dedicated to hockey now, but I have hopes of venturing into business.
For me, hockey is in the blood. My grand dad, grand uncle and dad all represented Malaysia in hockey and have all played in the Olympics. I’ve been following my dad, who’s on the current national coaching team for matches and tournaments since I was a little kid.
– Joel on his choice of sport.
What makes a successful athlete?
The thing that has helped me achieve what I have is hard work and determination. The saying “hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard” is something I believe is very true and the reason I give my best during every training session and tournaments/matches.
What are some of the causes that you really care about?
I’m currently part of an NGO called Project Liber8 which spreads awareness on human trafficking. Human trafficking is a really serious problem but it’s still not an issue many Malaysians pay attention to. It could happen to anyone, at any time and I believe working together is the only way we’ll be able to end human trafficking.
What’s your favourite song to dance to?
I definitely have two left feet so my best bet would be “Let’s Twist Again” by Chubby Checker.
A musical instrument you’d love to learn?
The harmonica. I like the way it sounds and how easy it is to bring it along anywhere you go.
Your most treasured possession?
My most treasured possession is the gold chain I’m wearing, which my mum gave me on my 21st birthday. It was passed down to her, by her family on her 21st birthday.
Lunch or dinner dates?
Lunch dates. It gives me more time to spend and get to know a person, and if we’re both having fun we can even end it with dinner.