Summary - Growth opportunities for sport?

An explanatory model of sports participation

Original title: Kansen op sportieve groei?

Sport contributes to a healthy society, in which people feel engaged with each other. Today, in 2019, more than half the Dutch population take part in sport on a weekly basis; the other half either do not participate at all or do so less frequently. Which characteristics of individuals, their social or physical environment or policy are important in explaining this difference in behaviour? And to what extent can policy be used to change these factors?

This report draws on a social-ecological model to analyse the factors which are related frequent sports participation by young people and adults. It also examines the relationship with the context in which they engage in sport (e.g. sports club or commercial sports provider). The analysis model used is based on a number of databases which contain information about sports participation by the Dutch, about environmental characteristics and about aspects of sports policy in different municipalities.

Based on the model, the report extrapolates two policy scenarios. In the first, the authors explore the likelihood of an increase in sports participation by adults and what motivations and impediments are related to this. In the second scenario the researchers devote extra attention to the relationship between sports participation by young people and the liveability of the neighbourhood in which they live.