Summary - Sport Foresight Study

A more active Netherlands

Original title: Sport Toekomstverkenning - een sportiever Nederland.

In the Sport Foresight Study ‘Een sportiever Nederland’ (‘A more active Netherlands’), the Netherlands Institute for Social Research (SCP) and the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) explore the future of sport and exercise in the Netherlands.

If the present policy on sport remains unchanged, the Netherlands could face substantial challenges by 2030. There is a strong chance of a widening gap between elite and popular sport. The Netherlands could be overtaken in the medal rankings; fans will have less to cheer. At the same time, technological developments are bringing the ability to experience sport closer, for example through Virtual and Augmented Reality. It cannot be assumed that people in the Netherlands will be taking sufficient physical exercise in 2030. Traditional sports associations could come under pressure due to a drop in members and volunteers. Modern sports associations offer opportunities for promoting social participation and health.

Which of these challenges is the most important depends on the perspective adopted. Sport appeals to many people for different reasons. For some, it is mainly about the social life, while others like to exercise to benefit their health. For yet others it is about the performance, and finally there is a group whose main aim is to share the world of those at the top of their sport. Precisely this diversity of perspectives – summarised in the report as taking part, exercise, performance and shared experience – is what makes sport special.