Sport in Utrecht means Sport Utrecht

I contacted SportUtrechts Communications Advisor, Yvonne Mureau to ask about the organisation and to see what it gives the good people of Utrecht. She was very helpful and her attitude bodes well for future progress in sport in the city. She is enthusiastic with an obvious love for sport and this will help build the organisation in the future.

First of all as with many people working here, Yvonne is not from Utrecht,

“Although I really like working here.”

We caught Yvonne and SportUtrecht at a good time as it has just relaunched itself after a merger between two local sports organisations, Harten voor Sport and Vereniging Sport Utrecht)

Below you can see their logo, which is brand new since 1st August!

I asked Yvonne:

Tell us about SportUtrecht:

“SportUtrecht is a very important player in the sports organizations network of Utrecht. Our position can be seen as a link between the local government, the sport clubs, the neighborhoods and the individual (pro) athlete. We are a foundation that is subsidized by the local government to execute a whole bunch of things that benefit the sport sector in all different parts. SportUtrecht is known for five core tasks:

  • Sport infrastructure: this has been one of the main pillars of the organization since the beginning, focusing mainly on supporting and vitalizing sport clubs in Utrecht. For example in terms of sorting out accommodation problems, or encouraging more volunteers or advice and support on financial issues.
  • Sport and movement stimulation: not every citizen of Utrecht is as active as the other. SportUtrecht is striving to stimulate and inspire as many people in Utrecht to start moving, especially the ones for whom working out does not come naturally. We truly believe in the power of sports. We execute this pillar by using ‘neighborhood sport coaches’ or buurtsportcoaches and ‘exercise buddies’ or Beweegmaatjes. We also organize school sports tournaments. All of this is done with the idea to get as many people as possible to have a fun sports experience and support them in becoming healthy.
  • Pro sports and talent development: (Sport)Utrecht is proud at the performances of their pro athletes and their talents. However reaching the top is not something you can do in one day. Therefore we put a great deal of effort into creating an optimal climate for pro sports and facilitating our talented athletes to get the best out of themselves. We do this through amongst other things, by promoting a healthy lifestyle and by studying coaching.
  • Sports promotion: one of the main goals of SportUtrecht is to make as many people as possible in Utrecht move. Therefore we  inform the people in Utrecht about the sports on offer and the sport events that are to take place, with the idea of inspiring and activating people to start being more healthy.
  • Advocacy: SportUtrecht has an important role in empowering sports clubs and individual athletes and is has, through its various guises, been doing this for over 30 years. We are advocating for the needs and demands of all the different sport suppliers in Utrecht.”

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Does Utrecht as a city do enough for sport in general?

“Utrecht is an active city in which sport has an important role. Utrecht is the home of multiple professional sport clubs that act on the highest level, we have FC Utrecht, Kampong and UZSC the waterpolo club. Furthermore, Utrecht has been the host city of multiple big sport events, including the Tour de France, Women’s European Championship Football and European Championship Beach Volleyball and will be hosting the start of La Vuelta a España in 2020.

Besides these main events which are mainly focusing on professional sports, Utrecht is also active in stimulating every inhabitant to have a healthy lifestyle and sees sport as a good way towards helping them reach that goal. SportUtrecht plays an important role in this process by executing a lot of projects that stimulate and inspire people to start moving.”

How do people get in touch with SportUtrecht?

“On our website www.sportutrecht.nl one can find information about the organization, its projects, activities and many more. Besides this we host the website www.sportstad-utrecht.nl on which there is an overview of all the sports offer there is available in the city and all the events and competitions that take place. And on our site www.sportprijs-sportutrecht.nl which is mainly focused on our yearly event Sportprijs in February where we celebrate the best sportsman, woman, talent, volunteer, coach, team, club and photo of the year and we present all the remarkable achievements of our local sportheroes.”

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“There is a very broad offer of sports available in Utrecht and therefore it is visible on our websites. This  also include sports that are less common in The Netherlands, yet available in Utrecht!, but popular in other countries, such as American Football, Lacrosse and Netball.”

These American, Canadian and mainly English sports should attract members of the ExPat community. Indeed, Yvonne says:

“At the vast majority of sport clubs foreigners are more than welcome to join.”

Yvonne is happy to help anyone:

“I am glad to help and to promote the sports in Utrecht! That’s what we stand for!”

Good news for all sporty types from abroad because Yvonne says

“I’m really certain that most of the other sport clubs in Utrecht are welcoming expats to join. There are more than 300 clubs to choose from! All can be found on www.sportstad-utrecht.nl”

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Jon Wilkins

Jon Wilkins is Welsh and lives in England. He is a writer. A Europhile and Remainer, he is a regular visitor to Utrecht and has set his crime novel series in the city.

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