The future of sport in the Netherlands: challenges and opportunities for sport policy
ISPAH ePoster Library. Vonk R. Oct 16, 2018; 225345; 428
Dr. Robert Vonk
Dr. Robert Vonk
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Abstract IntroductionThe world of sport is continuously chancing. At the moment, a third of the Dutch population is member of a local sport club. Yet, individual types of sport are gaining more interest as well. A healthy lifestyle is the main motive to become and stay active. But will this deliver new elite sportsmen in the future? And what about the often overlooked stakeholder: the supporters of sports? MethodsIn order to understand the challenges and opportunities for sport in the years to come, we conducted a sport foresight study: a long-term planning tool for anticipating and preparing for possible, probable and desired futures. Quantitative data, expert consultations, scenario planning and backcasting were used to investigate possible, probable and desired futures of sports. The aim of this Sport Foresight Study is to provide input for the national governmental sport policy from 2018 onward. ResultsThe Dutch sports sector faces four main challenges: an increasing gap between between elite sport and recreational sport; increasing pressure on local sports clubs due to decreasing membership numbers; insufficient physical activity and less international success. In order to provide insight into the desirable future of sport, we have constructed four perspectives on sport: idea-specific future images, intended to raise awareness about sports and to clarify discussions. ConclusionDiscussions on the future of sports often revolve around ‘sport as a goal’ and ‘sport as a means’. This contribution shows how sport foresight studies can inform this discussion and can lead to more robust future policy objectives.
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