Sports clubs: members and volunteers

One quarter of people aged over 18 in the Netherlands are members of a sports club, and just over 12 percent take an active part in volunteer work for these clubs. Furthermore around half of people aged 15 years or older – i.e. more than six million people – exercise for more than an hour a week.

Volunteers and members

In 2002 12 percent of the Dutch population aged 18 years and older did some form of voluntary work for a sports club. This percentage has hardly changed since 1997.

Voluntary work for sports clubs

More men than women do voluntary work for sports clubs, and non-members also do such work: around 15 percent of volunteers are not a member of the club they help out.

Just over one quarter of Dutch people are members of a sports club, more men than women, and more younger than older people. Relatively speaking, most members of sports clubs are aged between 18 and 45 years.

Weekly exercise

Just over six million Dutch people aged 15 years and older exercised weekly in 2002. The number of people who exercise for more than one hour a week has remained about the same since 1997. Three-quarters of these would-be athletes were to be found on playing fields or in sports centres for between one and five hours a week. One quarter trained for five hours or more a week.

Training for more than one hour a week, 2002

Nearly eight out of ten teenagers between 15 and 18 years of age train on a weekly basis. As they grow older, the proportion that practises sports decreases. Nearly six out of ten 18-24 year-olds exercise regularly, between ages 25 and 65 years half of people exercise regularly, and among the over 75s this falls to just over one-fifth.

Higher educated more sports minded

More people with a higher than a lower education do sports on a regular basis. Some 64 percent of higher educated people train regularly. This is twice the proportion of people with primary education.

Sports are popular among both men and women. However, men spend more time per week on practising sports. About one in six men train for at least five hours a week, for women this is one in eleven.

Board games, bridge, brainteasers, etc., 2002

Bridge and brainteasers

Mental games, such as draughts, chess, bridge and brainteasers are also popular. Three million people - i.e. more than a quarter of all people aged 15 and older - in the Netherlands play these games.

Such mental games are more popular among older than among younger people. Over half of the over 65s train their minds in this way, compared with only 7 percent of people aged between 15 and 18 years, and more women than men play these games.

Henk Hendriks