Meet The Team

The Ambassadors

The Ambassadors

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Graduate Message:

Paul Brown

27, Charterer in Trading and Shipping, British

Graduate Message:

• What are your Sporting Highlights?
Ironman 70.3 in Mallorca this year despite a broken bike! Great event and experience.

• Graduate Message
The first proper run I went on circa 3km, I thought I might vomit. Always hated running and never understood why people did it. 3 years on and I’ve now ran 2 marathons, multiple halfs, and an Ironman 70.3……and love it. If I can manage it, so can everyone else. Training for Namibia can genuinely change you life and health for the long term.

• What are your Sporting Lowlights?
Pretty much every time I do the lunch time run round Hyde park with Adam (sub 3hr marathon runner). Humbling.

• Qualifications/Experiences
Like sporting qualifications? None.

• Key Likes
Free kit! That and the outdoors, proper country boy me.

Kristof Boydens

29, Contract Manager at INEOS Energy Trading, Belgian

Graduate Message:

• What are your Sporting Highlights?
Completing IN.Nam18, Iron-Man 70.3 Mallorca finisher, Prudential Ride London

• Graduate Message
Define for yourself what you want to get out of this amazing challenge and aim for succes. This is your ultimate chance to create an everlasting memory and further shape your future. All ingredients are there to do something exceptional!

• What are your Sporting Lowlights?
Loosing the clubchampionship tennis finale after being one set up, no tears were shed though!

• Qualifications/Experiences
I am a Belgian from Antwerp with a sense for travel and adventure. During my Uni time (Chemical engineering - Leuven) I tackled a project in Ghana. My career with INEOS started in the commercial graduate programme. INEOS has offered the opportunity to work in a wide variety of locations like Cologne, Grangemouth and London in very interesting businesses. This combines my interest for travel and adventure of which obviously INNAM was a huge highlight!

• Key Likes
Big enthusiast of the outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling & running. Keen traveller and everything that goes with it (diving, snorkling, kayaking, …) and fan of most world-cuisines and beverages!

Robert Raven

26, Market Development for Speciality Vinyls – INOVYN, British

Graduate Message:

• What are your Sporting Highlights?
Completing in IN-NAM-19. Barcelona marathon, it was great to do a big city marathon the support was amazing! Cycled from Runcorn to Rolle over 10 days this summer. Also multiple triathlons and half- marathons.

• Graduate Message
The more you train the more you will be able to enjoy the fantastic experience of doing the IN-NAM event. It doesn’t matter how long it takes you to train/ complete the marathon the most important thing is to keep going and complete the challenge.

• What are your Sporting Lowlights?
Getting sick after exiting the (very wavy) swim of a triathlon and vomiting in front of a group of spectators, not a good look! Still completed the tri though….

• Qualifications/Experiences
No sporting qualifications or pedigree. My experience has been that over time you come to love having exercise as a regular part of your routine.

• Key Likes
Open water swimming, cycling, running and anything that gets me outside and active.

Michael Savory

26, Gemini Process Engineer, U.S.A., American

Graduate Message:

• What are your Sporting Highlights?
Completing IN-NAM ‘19 with the rest of the group was definitely my highest highlight! However, I have had a lot of success in various team sports such as American Football, Lacrosse, and Baseball that also come to mind. Sporting achievements always mean more to me when reached with a team or group of friends by my side.

• Graduate Message
I will continue to reiterate the overused phrase, “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity!” The best advice I got from the ambassadors last year was to train as much as you can now so that when you actually land in Namibia, you can enjoy as much as possible of that special journey. You will never be in the same place with all of the same incredible people again. Make the most of it!

• What are your Sporting Lowlights?
My sporting lowlights would have to include losing the State Championship Game with my (American) football team almost 10 years ago. It was difficult to have worked so hard only to come up short. Don’t let that be the case in Africa!

• Qualifications/Experiences
Prior to my own training for IN-NAM ’19, I would have said none. After completing that challenge as well as now training for an IRONMAN event, I feel a little more qualified.

• Key Likes
Hiking in the mountains, pretty much any team sport under the sun, and traveling to places all around the World. There is way too much out there to experience to sit idle

Sophia Jacobs

27, Unit Engineer at Polypropylene #3 at CBW, American

Graduate Message:

What are your Sporting Highlights?
Completing INNAM 19' , Houston Marathon, various local races, O&P Triathlon Program targeting IM Texas/Woodlands in April!

Graduate Message:
When you're in the Mars like landscape of Namibia gazing at cave paintings on the Brandberg; devouring snickers bars while running and biking with your crew, and sitting around a camp fire relishing the feeling of accomplishment and teamwork after getting everyone through the day's activities, all of the training and ups and downs will be completely worth it!

What are your Sporting Lowlights?
Learning the importance of nutrition on many long runs, and the Brandberg hike. Learn your body now rather than later. Hypoglycemia is a real thing, eat even if you aren't hungry and if it's hot outside don't skip on your nutrition!

Qualifications/Experiences:
Before IN-NAM, I only swam competitively during high school and for conditioning in college. Training for IN-NAM opened my eyes to the world of other endurance events that I've always wanted to participate in, but did not think I could ever run more than 3 miles. I trained hard with my training buddy Michael, and we both completed all of IN-NAM 19. We both had injuries, setbacks, fears, ext. but accomplished our goal out there in the desert. Now i'm training for a Half/Full IM, and so it continues!

Key Likes:
Traveling the world, (big)dogs, the beach, hiking and exploring nature in Texas and around the world , being outdoors, cooking and trying new restaurants, swimming, cheering on other IES teammates at events!

Christine Bechhold

32, Product Manager SM EMEA, German

Graduate Message:

• What are your Sporting Highlights?
Half marathon Cologne and Bonn, full marathon Barcelona and Lanzarote, fully completed IN NAM 19

• Graduate Message
Keep training hard. Even though there might be times when you just want to give up always remember that the hard work will be paid off. The more you train before the more you are likely to be able to enjoy this amazing event. But also give yourself time to relax and enjoy life in between your trainings, so that you don’t lose motivation. Being part of the group with all the amazing support you will receive is helping a lot to also get through some tough moments. Running, cycling or hiking into the camp/overnight destination is a great feeling every evening again.

What are your Sporting Lowlights?
• Km 30-40 in any marathon. This is just the time when my body becomes really tired and my mind is unwilling to keep on running, but still I learned the lesson that the body is capable to continue, even when you think you are super tired 

• Qualifications/Experiences
Namibia was clearly the toughest experience I have ever had, not sure if this is enough to be called to be “qualified” :D Before that I have done a 3 days hike in Indonesia (Lombok island) up the Rinjani volcano. Until Namibia, I thought it couldn’t get any harder, so this at least was a quiet good preparation for the Brandberg.

• Key Likes
I love sports, being outside and active. Playing tennis with my team, skiing, hiking, diving, MTB. And I even started to really like spinning with music in the background and a trainer that pushes you every training session. Besides that travelling the world is essential for my free time.