April – Exploring the future course of sport and exercise in Drenthe
The future of sport in Drenthe is getting closer all the time
How can we make the most of trends and developments that occur in society through sport? If we try to imagine what sport will look like in Drenthe in 2030, is that a vision of the future that we think is desirable? What could we be doing now to steer sport in the direction of a positive future scenario? We have been working hard on a Regional Future of Sport Exploration in Drenthe for a few months now. Following the kick-off on 25 February, the second exploration session took place with workshops on 20 May. Around 80 enthusiastic stakeholders joined in the thinking and planning – time for an update.
Exploring the future
The ‘data for local policy’ project is a result of the National Sport Agreement and builds upon the approach of the National Future of Sport Exploration. The consortium (Mulier Institute, Association of Sports and Municipalities, NOC&NSF, RIVM, Knowledge Centre for Sport), in collaboration with regional partners (GGD, CMOSTAMM) and local partners (the 12 municipalities in Drenthe), is mapping out all available and relevant data in the field of sport and exercise and attempting to interpret trends and developments. SportDrenthe is supervising the process, as represented by Mieke Zijl and Hans Slender.
“Many of the available figures are of a national nature and need regional refinement. That means we have to make the figures specific to our regional and local context, which is not an easy conversion. A lot of national research works with averages, but Amsterdam is of course in a completely different context to the Province of Drenthe. We have been discussing with the consortium’s experts how we can make this conversion, what we can get out of the available quantity of data for Drenthe and where supplementary local research is needed,” says Hans Slender.
The first meeting mainly looked at what knowledge and information is already available and relevant for basing future policy on. In the second session, we worked on interpreting the current figures. Hans Slender, along with Anet Doornbos of the Futures Literacy Lab (Hanze UAS), took the attendees through the technological developments and the disruptive changes that these could bring for the world of sport, among other things. They then worked to explore the sub-themes:
1 educational exercise and exercise skills as a basis for lifelong exercise;
2 stimulation of sport and vital providers through a positive sporting culture;
3 healthy active lifestyle: the preventative effect of sport and exercise;
4 communal social value: sport and exercise in the social domain;
5 economy: sport and exercise in leisure, tourism and regional marketing; and
6 sustainable sporting infrastructure: facilities and an exercise-friendly environment.
The first local sporting agreements are taking shape
“Sporting policy has not been just about sport and exercise for a long time now. It also involves the links to social affairs, health and prevention, economy, sustainability, etc. Policy is not only made by municipalities any more, but instead in collaboration with all stakeholders involved in the field,” says Mieke Zijl.
It is on the basis of this concept that the National Sport Agreement has been developed. Sport has worked together with other policy areas in this, along with many real-world professionals. This concept is being taken further with the Local Sport Agreements. Clubs, sports companies, events and professionals from neighbouring domains join in at a local level to discuss how we can get even more out of sport. In Drenthe, the municipalities of Hoogeveen, Meppel, Emmen, Assen, Noordenveld, De Wolden and Borger-Odoorn have already begun this process. The other municipalities will follow shortly.
Hans Slender: “In developing the Local Sport Agreements, I’d be the first to applaud if we not only worked with all parties to look for activities and campaigns for which there is sufficient mutual support, but also closely considered the quality of campaigns. High-quality local policy is based on existing knowledge and data, taking local trends and developments into account. Sport Agreements of high quality and with community support: that would really help sport in Drenthe to take the next step.”