The Dutch are big in sport

Sport is proving to be a strongpoint of the Dutch economy as well as an essential part of daily life for Dutch citizens.

Girls playing field hockey

Field hockey is a popular sport in the Netherlands. Many Dutch youth play in the junior league of the Royal Dutch Hockey Association. The Dutch national teams are among the world's best, and have won gold medals in recent Olympic games.

Image: Marc Heeman, Rotterdam branding

There ain’t no stopping the Dutch!

For the health-conscious Dutch, sport is not just something to watch and cheer about. Sport and all forms of physical activity are a cornerstone of a happy and healthy life for them. Quite uniquely for the world, almost all Dutch primaryschool children go to school by bicycle or foot, which lays a solid foundation for their sporty adult lives. Nearly a third of all trips are made by bike in a country covered with bike paths. Dubbed the World’s Cycling Capital, the country has even more bicycles than it has people. But the Dutch can practice just about any sport to their heart’s content, thanks to huge investments in first-rate sport facilities. The Dutch live and breathe sport and would enjoy nothing more than to welcome international topranked athletes in their midst and see them compete on Dutch soil at the highest level.

The country has a strong track record in organizing flawless massive sport events and aims to become a preferred host country.

Epke Zonderland - The Flying Dutchman

Epke Zonderland - The Flying Dutchman

Image: SCS

Did you know?

  • Johan Cruyff is the best and most famous footballer ever produced on Dutch soil.
  • Over 25 Dutch football managers became national coaches all over the world
  • Dutch wheelchair tennis player Esther Vergeer has collected five gold medals at the Paralympics
  • Fanny Blankers-Koen earned herself the nickname the Flying Dutch Woman. In 1999, the IAAF voted her Female Athlete of the Century
  • Dutch gymnast Epke Zonderland wowed an unprepared crowd with an elaborate acrobatic routine on the high bar, which won him the Olympic gold medal at the 2012 Olympics in the men’s finals, and the fitting nickname of 'The Flying Dutchman'.
  • 50% of Dutch people do sport at least once a week during 40 weeks of the year
  • 20,000 Dutch kids practise sport thanks to a contribution of the Youth Sport Funds
  • Dutch sport is extremely well organised thanks to a dense network of sport clubs. From early childhood on, Dutch people have the chance to do practically all sports within sport clubs.
  • The 1928 Olympics in Amsterdam boasted a few firsts – rituals that have now become part of the Olympic tradition. Among the novelties was the Olympic Flame.
  • The Dutch Baseball Team is World Champion 2011

For more information please contact:

The Netherlands Olympic Committee*Netherlands Sports Confederation (NOC*NSF) represents organised sports in the Netherlands. NOC*NSF brings together 90 national sport federations, which account for 27,000 sport clubs and over 4.7 million members.

> www.nocnsf.nl