Top-level sport and working at CFP: meet Katinka Buiting & Jhonattan Maldonado

Jhonattan started playing squash in Mexico around 15 years ago, and he played for the Mexican national team after his high school days. Katinka does wakeboarding at an extremely high level and is currently ranked in the top 10 in the world. Both of them have continued their passion for sports at a high level alongside their work at CFP. They are happy to explain how they combine their sport with their work at CFP Green Buildings.

The ride to the top

Katinka’s journey began some six years ago during her studies, when she first started wakeboarding. With her background in various board sports such as surfing and snowboarding, she soon reached the top of wakeboarding. She is very enthusiastic and has all kinds of boards at home. Ball sports, on the other hand, are not really her thing, she says with a wink.

For Jhonattan, the origins of his top sports career are in Mexico, where he started playing squash some 15 years ago. After his high school days, Jhonattan played for the Mexican team for a while. After not playing for a few years, he moved to Sweden, where he resumed his passion for squash. Squash proved to be a great way to meet people and network. Jhonattan also spends a lot of time on the squash court in the Netherlands and is currently ranked in the top 60 here.

Katinka aan het wakeboarden

Combining a top-level sports career with work

Jhonattan carefully schedules his squash sessions after work, with set days on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. ‘It is a challenge sometimes, especially on busy working days. Squash is a way for me to release stress, though. The social aspect of it also makes it easier.’

Katinka adjusts her work rhythm to the wakeboarding season. Previously, she worked part-time in summer and full-time in winter. Katinka: ‘However, I was able to work from Thailand and the Philippines last winter, which allowed me to continue training abroad where the weather is nicer. And when I cannot be on the water for a while, I train in the gym and boulder in a bouldering hall.’

Lessons from top-level sport

For Katinka and Jhonattan, resilience is key. Top-level sports have made them stress-resistant and help them maintain composure during stressful work situations. Perseverance and focus on goals are also invaluable in their professional lives. Jhonattan describes it aptly: ‘Having talent is one thing. But it’s all about discipline and perseverance. For me, this involves exercising every day and still exercising even when I am low on energy. That is how you get results.’

“Resilience is really important to me. Top-level sport makes you stress resistant and also helps you in your career. For example, to stay calm in meetings or when you are dealing with a project that urgently needs to be finished.”

– Katinka Buiting, Consultant at CFP Green Buildings

Combining top-level sport with work at CFP Green Buildings

Katinka worked three days a week last summer and was able to move her work location to Southeast Asia during the winter to continue her training programme. Jhonattan appreciates the flexibility of his four-day work week and the opportunity to work from home 50% of the time, making squash after work easier. Jhonattan elaborates: ‘You do need a certain level of flexibility from your employer, so it’s really great that CFP is considerate in this regard.’

Both Katinka and Jhonattan have experienced challenges, but they see CFP as a flexible and supportive employer. Katinka explains: ‘At times when things were difficult for me, I was often able to work out a solution in consultation with my supervisor. CFP has always been very flexible in this regard. I did feel burdened, but I mostly made things harder on myself.’ Jhonattan adds: ‘Matches and training for me are in the evenings and weekends, so I haven’t really experienced any difficult situations with this.’

Katinka and Jhonattan appreciate the sporting nature of their employer. Katinka says: ‘I really like that CFP is a sports company. For example, we regularly go wakeboarding or water-skiing during Friday afternoon drinks in summer, and sporting outings are organised on a regular basis. Jhonattan adds: ‘I have already participated in a running competition and a padel tournament. We also do other sports, such as golf, with some colleagues among ourselves.’

Goals for the future

Jhonattan and Katinka share a crucial vision of achieving balance between their top-level sports careers and work at CFP. For Jhonattan, thinking strategically about his sporting and professional goals is key. He avoids too much pressure in both areas to avoid problems. When things are not going so well with squash, he shifts his focus to work, and vice versa, which ultimately makes him stronger. Besides playing squash, Jhonattan is also active with running and volunteering at the food bank as additional activities. Jhonattan: ‘My goal is clear: to be in the top 50 in the Netherlands. In 2024, I want to participate in the national championships one more time and prepare for it properly. In the long run, I aim to participate in the ESA tournament, which means being in the world’s top 100. This offers a great opportunity to play against people who play squash full-time, which can significantly improve my game. It is a challenge I am looking forward to and which will shape my long-term goals in the sport.’

Katinka now considers wakeboarding a form of relaxation, unlike the pressure she previously felt when profit was directly related to income. Katinka: ‘This new mindset has helped me to perform better, but also to enjoy sport more, and the relaxation it offers me.’ She realises that her active wakeboarding career will probably last until she is 30. Indeed, there are few women over 30 who continue to wakeboard at this high level. For the long term, she therefore has plans to take on new projects besides wakeboarding and make the sport more widely known. Katinka: ‘My vision is not only focused on my own performance, but also on promoting the sport itself and creating opportunities for others to participate and enjoy wakeboarding at various levels.’

Finally, some tips

Jhonattan and Katinka also share tips for others who want to combine top-level sport with work. Katinka stresses the importance of working full-time alongside top-level sport. ‘Working full-time alongside top-level sport is ambitious, but important. When I was only wakeboarding, I had no work experience apart from wakeboarding. It’s good to do something alongside it and learn something else.’ Jhonattan adds: ‘It is important to figure out what suits you. You can express what you are looking for, what you can do and what is good for your.’

Are you also interested in joining CFP Green Buildings? We’re still looking for new talent! Check out our vacancies and see if there’s something for you.

Contact Apeldoorn

CFP Green Buildings
J.C. Wilslaan 29
7313 HK Apeldoorn
The Netherlands
+31 (0)55 355 5199

Contact Naarden

CFP Green Buildings
Onderwal 16
1411 LV Naarden
The Netherlands
+31 (0)55 355 5199

Contact Singapore

CFP Green Buildings Singapore
The Hive, High Street Center 1
North Bridge Road #08-08
Singapore 179094
+65 8893-2815

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