In order for all Dutch people to enjoy sports and exercise, it is important that the sports domain is well represented and unites strategically. In order to give enterpreneurial sports providers a voice and to create a level playing field in the sports world, the Platform Entrepeneurial Sports providers (POS) was established in 2019. The POS represents the interests of trade associations of enterprising sports providers. With 16 affiliated branches representing approximately 6,100 sports providers and where more than 8 million athletes practice their sport weekly, the POS has proven in recent years to be a valuable addition to the Dutch sports landscape.

POS valuable addition to sports landscape

With the formalization of the POS as a foundation on June 18, 2021, the official establishment is a fact. Initiators Haike Blaauw (FNRS), Lodewijk Klootwijk (NVG) and Patrick Rijnbeek (NLActief) take a seat on the board. Lodewijk: “I am proud of the big step we have taken together. The role of enterprising sports providers will only increase with the formalization, so that we can increase our social contribution. We are also positive about the advice of the Dutch Sports Council, which, among others, advises the national government to pay attention to the need for a level playing field for the entire sport. The advice from the Sports Council to sport to organize a form of joint interest representation with a joint vision on sports development is also in line with the POS and discussions are underway with, among others, NOC*NSF.”

Gerard Dielissen, director NOC*NSF, states: “Sports entrepreneurs are an indispensable part of the Dutch sports infrastructure. From NOC*NSF and the sports associations affiliated with us, we are looking forward to further intensifying the collaboration with the POS so that we can further develop the sports sector and also make joint connections with governments and social sectors such as healthcare, education, welfare and the business community so that even more Dutch people become active in sports”.

Growth towards a common goal

During a small-scale but festive meeting at Beest Boulders, Europe’s largest bouldering hall in Amsterdam, the directors of the affiliated industry associations got to know each other and toast the formalization with a glass of POS wine. Due to the corona pandemic, many have never met each other live. Haike: “It is special because in a period in which there was so much physical distance, so much connection was created between the POS members. This feeling was clearly confirmed during the meeting, we can only strengthen each other by working together. Climbing together to achieve our goals.” This growth towards a common goal was symbolized by the climbing athletes in the background during the meeting.

Annelies Pleyte, Sports Director of VWS, congratulates the POS on its establishment. “It’s good that the POS now officially exists. We have seen the trend for some time that entrepreneurial sport plays an important role in the total range of sports in the Netherlands.”

Marjan Olfers, professor of sports and law, emphasizes the importance of the establishment: “The formal establishment of the POS as a foundation has created an agile organization that can respond quickly to current developments and issues. The joint support ensures that political and social issues will no longer pass by the enterprising sports providers. Let’s hold on and strengthen each other.”

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