Organised sport in the Netherlands

“Nederlands Olympisch Comité * Nederlandse Sport Federatie” (NOC*NSF) is the main organisation for organised sports in the Netherlands. Its 74 member organisations account for around 24,000 sport clubs in the Netherlands, which total more than five million people involved in organised sports.

Zwemmer 100 meter vrije slag

Elite sports

In elite-level sport, it is our ambition to rank among the top-ten of sport countries of the world. To that end, we must raise the bar and the standards for elite sport in the Netherlands from “good” and “better” to “best.” At the Olympic Games, the Netherlands has always won medals in a limited number of sports. Eight sports in question account for 96% of all medals won since 1948. At the Paralympic Games, too, the Dutch are successful in a limited number of sports. The same can be said of sports not included in the Olympic or Paralympic Programme.

Sport participation

The Netherlands has about 24,000 sports clubs, with over five million members. However, the number of Dutch people who practice some form of sport every week is actually nine million. This is one of the highest levels of sport participation in the world and the numbers are still (slightly) rising. A crucial goal of NOC*NSF and the sports federations is to promote enjoyment of sport among all Dutch people, regardless of club membership.
Dutch sports federations and clubs focus on the preferences of individual participants, trying to provide the best possible conditions in which everyone can enjoy their sport. Strengthening sports clubs, providing activities that are tailored to demand, creating attractive sports facilities, taking on more and better-paid staff, and promoting cooperation within the local community are all high on the agenda.


NOC*NSF International Affairs

Herbert Wolff


Telephone: + 31 (0) 26 483 44 00





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