Sport in Holland

Dutch are said to be one of the most sport-loving countries in the world. 4 million people out of 16 are members of some sport community. The most popular sports are football, hockey and volleyball; tennis, speed-skating, swimming and bicycle racing are among the favorite too. There was six UCI Road World Championships in the Netherland. Seven times they got the first place. For Dutch bicycle is not even a sport, it’s a lifestyle. They can travel around the whole Holland by bike.  They even have an official “Day of the Bicyclist “ which is held on the second Saturday of May.

Dutch football is known all over the world. The Orange team is of the most exciting teams in the world and the fans in Holland made it the most popular game of the country.

Besides world famous sports Holland has some homegrown sports like korfball, kaatsen, klootschieten and kolven

Korfball is something like basketball and netball. It consists of four men and four women that also has a coach. The main purpose is to score as many goals as one team can.

Kaatsen, also known as a Frisian handball is very similar to American handball and is believed to be one of the oldest sport games. The score is like in tennis, the first team that scores six games, wins the match. 

Klootschieten is another national sport that is translated into English as “to shoot the ball”. The rules are simple: participants try to throw the ball as far as they can. There two styles of the game: “field” and “street”.

Kolven is a game that was originated in the Netherland and today is getting more and more popular all over western and Eastern Europe. This is a group game that is played with curved bats, also known as “klierks”, and a ball between two poles. This game is played on an indoor kolf court. 

Winter sports are very popular in Holland. Speed- skating is an all-liked type of sport. Competitions started in XIII century. Holland can be recognized by some names like Ard Shrenk and Cornelis Verkerk.  Another well-known winter sport is figure skating. Though Dutch haven’t achieved great rewards it is considered to be one of the favorite sport. 

The Netherland team takes an active part in the Olympic Games. Firstly they appeared in 1900 and since then they haven’t missed any game. Dutch sportsmen won 246 medals in the summer Olympic Games. They most effective was swimming and bicycle racing. And also 78 medals in the winter games where they succeeded in speed skating. 

The Dutch have a pretty strong Paralympic team. The secretary general of the Dutch team says:” the main goal is not to focus on the disabilities but on sport”. Dutch people use any opportunity to be a part of some sport event and there is no such word as “handicapped”. A great example of self-control and hard work is Monique van der Most – a Paralympic participant. She was a professional bicyclist, but at the age of 13 she lost her ability to walk. Doctors constructed her manual control bicycle. In 2008 she was preparing to the Paralympic Games and got into accident. After the accident she started to feel one leg and then the other. Now she trains on the original bicycle and was offered a position in the Olympic Games Bicyclists.