Association of Sports and Municipalities

Together strong for local sports!

The Association of Sports and Municipalities on sports policy is the platform in the Netherlands for the development and positioning of sport and physical activity as a binding element in society.

The policy on sport and physical activity is important for the general welfare of citizens. Sport and physical activities provide opportunities for talent, meaningful leisure activities, active participation in society and promotion of a healthy lifestyle.

Municipalities play an important role when it comes to sport and physical activity in the Netherlands. As a director through enabling policy and as financier of the many sports facilities.

Municipalities ensure that sport and physical activity are accessible to all citizens, present and safe in the neighbourhood, together with the promotion of a healthy lifestyle, are important focus points. Also are organizations on sport and physical activity valuable partners to achieve objectives in other policy areas such as education, health, urban development and city marketing.

The wide importance of sport and physical activity will require continued and special attention of our municipalities. Whether it is for recreational or competitive sports, to organized or unorganized activities, to sport as a goal or to sport and physical activity as an instrument.



The Association is there for all municipalities in the Netherlands: large and small. Municipalities that have questions in the field of sport and physical activity, whether for policy (development) or accommodations will have the support of our Association.

We are in an accessible manner visible for all municipalities: both the Board and the bureau employees. In the form of personal contact, but also in digital encounters.

The interlocutor on behalf of all the municipalities

Municipalities are interlocutor for the government, the organized sport sector, and many other national parties and organizations at policymaking and implementation of activities. The Association is the intermediary on behalf of municipalities and strategically positioned in the centre of this force.

The network is nationally recognized and appreciated as a knowledge platform. We have a network consisting of governments, non-profit organizations and business members. The knowledge, experience and innovative developments that are generated from this network is of high quality, practicable and progressive.

The Association of Sports and Municipalities on sports policy is the gatekeeper for unlocking reliable and timely knowledge and information. All municipalities with questions about sport and physical activity go to our Association. Also knowledge organizations, knowledge institutes and companies work together with us to make knowledge and information in the field of sport and physical activity available to municipalities.

What we do

Our national organization is based in The Hague. The Association comprises a national board, the platforms North, East, South and West and 27 regions with the executive office of in The Hague. A number of committees advice and support the organization. Six regional advisers and ambassadors support the regions on matters where the importance of sport and communities is central.

At the General Assembly collectively the members set out the course of the Association.

The Young Professionals Network for ambitious young professionals (< 36 years) working in the sports sector is part of the network.

We work in different ways and on different projects together with NOC*NSF, Ministries of Health and Education, the Knowledge centre on Sports and the research centre Mulier Institute. In close cooperation with the Association of Dutch Municipalities on all the other fields of policy, we occur at the national level as interlocutor on behalf of municipalities in contacts with ministries, sports federations and research and educational institutions. On special issues we also collaborate with the RIVM Centre for Healthy Living.

Participation and control

We participate in various steering committees, commissions and boards. One example is participation in committees to develop standards and guidelines for different sports and sports fields. By participating in these committees, we ensure a realistic development of standards and we ensure that the financial consequences for municipalities (as owner of many sports facilities) remain limited.


During meetings and conferences we provide administrators, aldermen and company members a platform for exchanging knowledge and experience in the field of sports, but also other areas such as the social domain.

Projects and tools

  • The largest project since 2012 is the program ‘Sports and physical activity in the Neighbourhood’ encourages an active and healthy lifestyle for everyone. The central objective of the program is: for every Dutchman an appropriate, safe and accessible sports properties in the neighbourhood.The support of the program Sport physical activity in the Neighbourhood is implemented by the Association of Sports and Municipalities, NOC*NSF, Knowledgecentre Sports and ZonMw. Administrative partners are the Ministry of Health Welfare and Sports, VNG, VNO-NCW and MKB-Nederland.
  • Another important project is ‘Boundless Active’, making sport and exercise possible for anyone with a disability. Boundless Active is the title of the new disabled policy of the Ministry of Health Welfare and Sports.
  • The Association of Sports and Municipalities signals in her congregation a growing need for information and a large need for reference material to establish its own policy efforts and achievements against it. We meet this need and have developed the Monitor Sports and Municipalities. This is an online monitoring and benchmarking platform intended for policy makers, policy advisers and directors engaged in sports policy.

The monitor offers municipalities a current insight and overview of key indicators which reflect the local sports policy and related developments. In addition to monitoring these developments municipalities may select a comparison group from the participating municipalities and compare their own data with that.

Election City of Sports the Year

We organise in cooperation with NOC*NSF and VNG the Election ‘City of Sports of the Year’. This election aims to encourage a sustainable sport and exercise policies in municipalities and share success stories. For municipalities, the election provides a stage on which local efforts and initiatives get the attention.

Since 2013 is also the ‘Best initiative on sport and physical activity’ part of the election.

Environmental Barometer

The Environmental Barometer is a sustainability monitor and makes the environmental impact and performance of a swimming pool quickly and easily visible.

This tool is freely available to municipalities and swimming pool operators and thus promotes the improvement of environmental performance, energy efficiency and saving costs related pools.

Academy for Sports and Municipalities

In a strongly changing playing field is professionalizing the only answer to counter new challenges. Our academy connects the expertise and network of our Association with the range of courses, trainings and master classes from our partners.

Exchange of knowledge and expertise are key components of the support provided by us. There is an intensive collaboration with industry and with Knowledge centres– and institutes to all current knowledge in the field of sport and physical activity to collect, assess and share.