The underlying meaning of the word ‘Salud’ is ‘good health’, which forms an important part of our mission. In addition to the sustainable and environmentally friendly production of healthy products, we also promote health awareness among our employees, customers and consumers. Sport is one of our top priorities. Successfully financing a starting out top sports career unfortunately isn’t something that’s readily available to every talent. We also know like no other how difficult it is to develop something and to subsequently continue with this. That’s why the Salud Food Group decided to launch the ‘Together we’ll make their dreams come true’ initiative. We’ll put an athlete in the spotlight every quarter and financially support him or her with help from customers like you, making sure their sports dreams can come true.

Who is Milan?

My name is Milan Kuppens. I am 18 years old and live in Oosterhout (North Brabant). I am a windsurfer and do most of my competitive surfing in the Netherlands. My biggest inspiration is the Dutch windsurfer Jordy Vonk. His competition number is NED-69. You can choose your own competition number in the Netherlands. My choice for competition number NED-169 is directly related to my idol.

'Windsurfing

is my life!'

What does sport mean to you?

Sport means a great deal to me. I have already tried my hand at a variety of different sports; gymnastics, circus, cycling, free-running, trampolining, skiing and snowboarding, to name but a few. But windsurfing has proven to be my absolute favourite. That’s why I would like to focus on this in my future sports career. I can really clear my head whilst windsurfing, plus it makes me feel great. It fills me with energy. I can honestly say that windsurfing - currently alongside my studies - is my life!

When did you decide to pursue a career in this sport?

I started with competitive windsurfing around 3 years ago. The amount of enjoyment I get out of windsurfing, the great atmosphere within the windsurfing world, my friends and family, all of this influenced my decision to turn windsurfing into my career. Every single season I can feel myself becoming more enthusiastic about giving this fantastic sport my all and demanding the absolute best from myself. Being on the water and moving at great speed fills me with the most incredible feeling. A positive vibe which is hard to put into words, but it certainly helps me to aim for the highest achievable result.

The atmosphere within the surfing world is extremely positive and inspiring. Everyone’s ready to help each other along the water’s edge. But once on the water, it’s every man for himself and very competitive. Then everyone is friends again once the competition is done and dusted. I feel right at home there.

'You can find me on the water

as soon as the wind starts to blow'

Which steps have you taken to turn your dream into a reality?

I attended the CIOS in Goes after secondary school. This sports course also offers top sports guidance in water sports.  I hope to be able to follow this direction next year. That means I’ll be able to windsurf even more. I certainly hope that will benefit my results. You can find me on the water as soon as the wind starts to blow. I therefore always keep a very close eye on the weather forecast. I train outside on the water as much as I possibly can. I also pay regular visits to the gym for weight training. Competition experience is incredibly important in this sport. That’s why I compete in as many competitions as possible. But participating in competitions is unfortunately very expensive, which means I’m dependent on sponsors. There’s an awful lot involved; registration fees, travel and accommodation costs and the transport of my equipment and materials. I hope to be able to participate with a competition in France, La Tranche sur Mer and a competition in Turkey this summer.

Which titles are you most proud of?

I’m still quite young and am currently in the Under 21’s category. The level is incredibly high. So far I have unfortunately not yet won a competition. However, I have managed to gain experience at National Championships and even a World Championship in Texel in 2017. I am participating with all the Regional Cup South competitions, which equates to 10 per season (April-October). I am also going to compete in the North Sea Slalom (NC) and the Dam-X event in Brouwersdam.

'I would like to compete

in the PWA World Tour

in 5 years’ time'

What is your worst experience in your sports career to date?

My worst experience was in 2018 when I tore my cruciate ligament. A very long 9 months of rehabilitation followed, during which I couldn’t surf. Fortunately I still managed to participate with the Dam-X competition at the end of the season, in October.

What do you hope to have achieved in 5 years’ time?

I hope to be able to compete in the PWA (Professional Windsurf Association) World Tour in 5 years’ time. This is the elite class of windsurfing. I would like to continue competing in national and international competitions until that time. 

Would you like to find out more about Milan Kuppens ? Follow him on the following channels:

-Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ned169/

-Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/milan_169/