Popular Sport in the Netherlands

Since the last quarter of the 19th century saw the Dutch sports and other physical activity more and more as a valued spend their time. It kept the body healthy, but was also good for the formation of character and personality.This new vision led to the advent of organized sport in clubs and associations. At the same time but independently, they went on, more and more schools to offer physical education lessons. Article arrangement

  • Short history of sport
  • The latest developments
  • The growth of the sport in public schools in England
  • English influence on the Dutch sport practice
  • Compounds rather than school sports
  • The rise of bikes and cycling in England and Netherlands
  • The expansion of secondary education and the creation of a youth culture
  • Sports clubs and youth club
  • Gymnastics lessons at school
  • Gymnastics
  • Friction between sport and gym
  • End wrapped around the turn of the century
  • Further growth

Short History of Sport

Physical training, if a game or game elements or not, it has always been suspected. People have developed sport activities to enjoy themselves or to see who was the fastest or the strongest. Until the nineteenth century, but this rarely happened in a structured and organized way.
There were events that have had a fairly common organisation and where you could win prestigious awards, such as the Olympic Games in ancient Greece or knights tournaments during the middle ages. But these were the exception to the rule
Entertainment for the people
Most sports practice is not binding. Competitions are organised in the framework of the annual fair or in honor of a vacation. Also the Innkeepers and restaurant owners would sometimes carry out something to attract visitors to their cause. It was or is intended for the lower classes, because the bourgeoisie was too drunk at such times.
That didn’t stop them until the early 19th century in Holland and Friesland three “national entertaining” had been developed. These were:

  • Harddraverij with horses.
  • Skate.
  • Sailing and rowing.

In addition, until well into the 19th century some of the middle ages derived popular sports games. It was the rebounding, corn cobs and chain mail, all known in different versions.

The Latest Developments

In the second half of the 19th century vision of sport would change drastically. People started to see the value in sport and also had a different face. the popular entertainment not to disappear, but now supplemented with a more serious form of organized sport.
It was an international development and was therefore probably a matter of time before they could reach the Netherlands. This does not mean that the widespread acceptance of the sport in the Netherlands has followed its own path. The following developments have had a significant impact on the mental change in our country.

The growth of the Sport in Public Schools in England

Mid 19th century events keep the sport quickly became popular in English boarding schools, the famous public school where the boys from the elite made his high school. Originally went to rugby and cricket, but later also for football and tennis. This had the following reasons:

  • Public Schools received more and more students from the middle class, making the bourgeois character of the schools. The old traditions that were prevalent at these schools, came under pressure.
  • Sports turned out to be a good way to maintain both discipline and atmosphere at a boarding school.
  • The British Empire was larger than ever, as many Britons were sent to other areas. Future officials abroad must have perseverance and courage. It can be grown on the lawn.

All in all, it was overstated in England about how serious the sport could help strengthen a character and personality. Sport was a prestigious thing for the upper class; a way to distinguish itself from the lower classes. The difference, therefore, is no longer turned to the business of the sport itself, but the way you did.
This particularly concerned the concept of sportsmanship. Sportsmanship was an important characteristic which must develop athletes and was described as “a victory drive and competitive spirit, with dignity and courtesy at a loss in profits.

English Influence on the Dutch Sport Practice

The accretion income British sporting interest would blow over in a couple of decades to the Netherlands. This happened mostly through English or Dutch immigrants who grew up in the United Kingdom. These people were, not surprisingly, came from the higher social classes.
The English influence on the Dutch sport is also apparent from the many English sports terms that they still use. It begins with the word “sport” itself. The names of many acquired sports such as rugby, cricket and tennis are also English, applying in these sports. While terms such as “fair play” and “injustice” is already there from the beginning.

Compounds Rather Than School Sports

Unlike the United Kingdom, the Netherlands sports according to the English model is not adopted immediately out of high school. On the contrary, most schools have nothing of it and thought it was still indecent pastime. Therefore, those who were forced to form societies within which to practice their sport. The oldest clubs often had more British than Dutch members.
Oldest sports clubs in the Netherlands
Unfortunately, it is not known which sport it is actually the oldest in the Netherlands. Finally, missing for a long time to clear the Administration in this area, not least because of the many sports still had no union.
Very old is really the oldest tennis clubs in the Netherlands, the anglo-Dutch Tennis Club in Rotterdam. It was founded in 1855. Here the British members were far in most of the Netherlands.
The stadium in Haarlem in 1907, the oldest field sport in the Netherlands are:

  • Royal UD Deventer 13 October 1875. This originally played mostly cricket expand later football and other sports court.
  • The Royal H. C & V.V. Hague on September 1, 1878.
  • The Royal HFC Haarlem on september 15, 1879. This was the first Club established itself as a special Football Club. Therefore, he is often described as the oldest football club in the Netherlands

Unions would finally work together in trade unions. The oldest sport federations in the Netherlands is to sailing and rowing clubs from 1847, which is surprisingly old. It strongly suggest that it has been sailing and rowing clubs that were older than the above tennis club.
Oldest sport practiced in the Netherlands
Logically, the oldest sports in the Netherlands were mostly the same as those that were popular in English boarding schools: cricket, football, rugby and tennis. Yet the presence of sailing and rowing that this sport has gone only to take in the new development.

The rise of bikes and cycling in England and Netherlands

There was also a popular sport from England had blown over, but not from public school. It was cycling.This sport was spread initially by specific bike schools, where you could get the bike classes.
But gradually becoming more of a club cyclists that led to a surprising increase in bicycle clubs.There were two reasons:

  • The example was followed by other sports
  • The invention of the Rover safety and tire gets many more people, including women and elderly men, including bicycles.

Continued cycling club for a long time something for people in the upper class.
The above development took place in the Netherlands, albeit a bit later. The oldest bike club in the Netherlands was founded in 1871 in Deventer, under the name “Immer Weiter. This Club was founded in Deventer was no accident. This was, in fact, also established the oldest bicycle industry in the Netherlands.

The Expansion of Secondary Education and the Creation of a Youth Culture

In the last decades of the 19th century, secondary education in the Netherlands. This showed itself in the creation of many new types of schools as HBS, MMS, Seminary and later high school. The training was focused on children and the middle class.
Until then secondary education for this group was limited. There was really only the so-called “French school”, a two-year secondary education. The Latin school or grammar school was only open to boys from the social was the cultural elite. The new school forms had even less allure than the gym, but had a much broader curriculum than the French school and was still widely available.
The result was that young people together now more often and for a much longer time than earlier met in groups. This led to the creation of a youth culture that was often form associations. The sports club was one of the manifestations of this.
Associations for young people
The new youth clubs were formed from two different pages:

  • Adult organizations founded for young people, usually with pedagogical intent.
  • Youth clubs were founded to dispose properly apart from them all adults imposed customs.

Sports Clubs and Youth Club

Sports clubs are almost always belonged to the latter type. As mentioned earlier, many Dutch people do not fall in love with the sport. It was seen as too crude and lewd activity. Many boys who wanted to join the sport came into conflict with their parents and/or teachers. They did, however, not only in the fight;
PIM Mulier almost all early sports clubs in the Netherlands, founded by teenagers at around 14 to 16 years.
This development was closely related to the English influence. They were teenage boys with English connections, which was at the root of today’s Dutch sport.
Pim Mulier
The most famous names in the early days of the sport in the Netherlands was Pim Mulier. He had been sitting at a college in Ramsgate and was 14 years old 1879 when he first took the initiative to introduce HFC Haarlem. Still long he would remain an important wegverbreider for sport in the Netherlands. In many ways, it can be seen as the father of the Dutch sport.

Gymnastics Lessons at School

In 1852 decided “Society for Utilities ‘General’, a foundation with a focus on” training “of the lower classes as a sound mind dwells in a sound body. Within this framework, it was decided to introduce gymnastics into schools that are funded by the Foundation.
The idea of school gymnastics originated in Germany and was heavily focused on gymnastics. Initially had a somewhat nationalsitische background, but the benefits were clear. It was also popular, another German team handball, but the Netherlands even less than elsewhere. But it was the success of our own korfball opposite.
Women’s gymnastics in Sweden The Swedish method
Then there was also a Swedish gymnastics method. It focused on exercises of posture and used new devices as a shelf. The method would make world premium and lay the foundations for the current school gym.
In the Netherlands, the Swedish method introduced by the military. This sector was enough physical exercise for obvious reasons, quickly accepted.
Arduous acceptance
It was not an instant success. The gym had a shaky advance through the Netherlands. There was pressure and legislation from Government, but many schools are not just something inside. Yet the gym class was more than the British sporting quite widely accepted.


Who saw to it that gymnastics was a popular pastime and there was gymnastics associations. One of the oldest sports clubs was the Royal Turnvereniging Olympia in Amsterdam, founded on 3 March 1863. This narrowing was older than those for field sports! The first therapy Alliance appeared in 1868. Around the turn of the eeuwisseling Union had approximately 3000 members.

Friction Between Sport and Gym

Initially, there were in the Netherlands, a clash between English and German sports gymnastics. PE teacher refused sport that in their programs. According to them, namely, therapy aimed at the proper functioning of the body and does not exercise. Parents whose children were kept this sport luck from the gymnastics because it was superfluous in their eyes.

End wrapped Around the Turn of the Century

Remained long in our country is so much resistance to British sport, despite the fact that it was a hobby of the bourgeois elite. The pedagogical qualities saw in English there a long time, not only are reported here. This was from the turn of the century and for the following reasons:

  • More and more teachers and psychologists recognized the educational value of sport and reluctance faded quickly.
  • Sport and ranking to sport on the program. As a result, in 1905 was the first football tournament of the school site.
  • From the army as a rapprochement between the sport and fitness center put on the rope. That had a lot to do with the fact that conscription was introduced in 1901. Therefore, it was also important in the Netherlands that the boys would grow in good physical condition.

Further Growth

After the change in attitude at the beginning of the new century, but the sport largely outside school to develop, but it was no longer in battle. Rather, the values that governed the sport proved far too strong correspond to those of the bourgeois youth who is increasingly participated in high school. It meant that the quest for performance, show diligence, perseverance and restraint and the use of good behavior. And of course there was the development of sportsmanship.
Anyone familiar with the high current emotions that can bring about a sports game, incidentally, will understand that the ideal sports is not always achieved. 1890, for example, the firm was the enormous complained lack of respect that had players for judges. These were too swinging of the submitted documents in local newspapers attacked their decision.
In the first decade of the 20th century, there is still a doubling of the number of athletes in the Netherlands, about 30,000 officially registered practitioners to approximately 60,000.
The following factors made this development further windscreen was shot.

Expanding transportation options

The great expansion of the means of transport in the second half of the 19th century. Train and tram took much greater distances, so it actually interesting competitions could be organised both regionally and nationally. On a personal level, the cycle will be more guys have made it possible to join a club.
Growing Middle Class
More and more boys from the bourgeoisie and middle school and went to sports clubs was also because there was more and more citizens and shopkeepers. The huge industrial growth depended on the last quarter of the 19th century for a strong increase in sales and trading, which saw more and more children from working families a chance to climb on.
The pursuit of sports of lower classes
The sport was increasingly open to boys from lower social groups. Year 1897 is EDO Haarlem football club the first “people’s Club” in the Netherlands. Until the first world war, this expansion is still limited to football and cycling. Other sports know longer holding exclusivity.
This was after the war very quickly, because many boys had made acquaintance conscription in the army with different sports.


With the new century begins the eight-hour working day, while the free Saturday afternoon when already existed for several years. People were also more leisure time at their disposal.


OS success led to an international popularization of the sport. In 1896, the first edition of the modern Olympic Games were held in Athens. Founder Pierre de Coubertin had no other intention than to popularise the sport. This he did after his 1883 at an English boarding school field was greatly impressed by what the sport with the English guys had the power to do.

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November 24, 2016

Posted In: Outdoor

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