National Sports Agreement

The National Sports Agreement is an instrument used to define mutual ambitions on sport on a national and local level. At each level, representatives of the sports sector and government are involved and, if appropriate, representatives from the field of education, health, and infrastructure.

Group of people who joined the kickoff meeting of the national sports agreement

The National Sports Agreement is an example of how ambition on sports policy is determined in the Netherlands. It is an instrument initiated at a national level by the national government, the sports sector (NOC*NSF), and the Association for Sport and Municipalities (VSG). Together, they have set ambitions and with a clear division of responsibilities, they are now working on reaching their goals.

Six topics

The National Sports Agreement focuses on six topics:

  • Inclusive sports in the spirit of ‘no one left behind’
  • Sustainable (and accessible) sports infrastructure
  • Vital sports providers
  • Positive sports culture
  • Enjoying physical activity from an early age
  • Elite sports and sports events (performance, innovation, and experience)

Local sports agreements

Since the National Sports Agreement was reached in 2018, local governments have been working on local agreements with the local sports sector. Every municipality could request €15,000,- to appoint a sports formateur. The role of the sports formateur is to bring local parties together to establish a local sports agreement. After that, every municipality can apply for extra funding to enrol the local agreement, for which a total of €30 million is guaranteed by the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport. In two years, more than 95% of the municipalities now (2020) have reached their own local sports agreement.

Collateral advantages

The process of defining local sports agreements has had a positive side effect: not only more cooperation between stakeholders with clear goals and ambitions was developed, but there has also been an increase of cross-sectoral cooperation, at a local level. The stakeholders that are involved in the agreements represent the sports sector and the government, but we also see representatives of the education, health, and infrastructure sector.

visual The Netherlands United by Sports


Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport
Phone: +31 (0) 70 340 79 11