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Dutch top sport climate deteriorates

08-10-2012 00:59 BJT Special Report:2012 London Olympic Games |

THE HAGUE/LONDON, Aug. 9 (Xinhua) -- The Dutch are performing well during the Olympics in London, but the top sport climate in the Netherlands is going down, as was concluded in a research by the University of Utrecht presented on Thursday.

Maarten van Bottenburg, Professor of Sports Development at Utrecht University, led the research commissioned by the Dutch Olympic committee NOC*NSF and the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS). The report was presented Thursday to Minister of VWS, Edith Schippers, at the Holland House in London.

The report, called "Blood, Sweat and Tears", describes how the sports developed in the nation in recent years. The survey among athletes, coaches and sport coordinators shows a two-sided picture of the climate in 2011.

In the report top athletes complain about the quality of coaches, the freedom to choose their own coach or physiotherapist. They also want to train more often. Swimmers and skaters often suffer from recreational use of their training spots. Furthermore, Dutch athletes and coaches expected more scientific training programs as countries like Australia, Germany and Great Britain have done.

The participants agree the elite sport climate in the Netherlands has improved in recent years, but the speed is lower than in 2008.

"On the one hand, the people directly involved think that the sport climate in recent years has improved further," explained Van Bottenburg on the website of Utrecht University. "On the other hand, this improvement has not led to a better competitive position internationally in all sports. Many countries have boosted their sport investments, so the level of the international competitions has improved more."

The Dutch government invested more in ameliorating the top sport climate in recent years, but there are also developments that contributed to the lower quantification of the sport climate, for example the lack of available training accommodations.

The research is part of a large international comparative research project, SPLISS (Sports Policy Factors Leading to International Sporting Success) in 16 countries. A report of the international comparison will follow in 2013.

Editor:Wang Chuhan |Source: Xinhua

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