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Sport, health and the genesis of a physical activity policy in the Netherlands (INTERN).

Stuij, M., Stokvis, R.
Oxfordshire, UK
Taylor & Francis (Routledge Journals)
International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics, Advance Online Publication, DOI: 10.1080/19406940.2014.962073

Sport and physical activity have become prominent tools in governmental health policy in the Netherlands. This paper focuses on developments in dominant understandings of sport and physical activity in relation to notions of health in the field of sport policy since the 1950s. We show that 'sport is good for health' arguments were emphasized and mitigated by different stakeholders with diverging purposes at different moments in time, to stimulate or legitimize interference of the national government in the field of sport. By studying changes in the power balances between the state, the private sport sector and other stakeholders, we explain how, gradually, public health became a, and at times the, major legitimization for this interference. Furthermore, we demonstrate how these developments coincided with a narrowing of the vision of sport, as frequency and intensity became more important than what was actually practised. In this process, sport became blurred with other terms like physical activity and recreation, and new interest groups entered the field of sport and health. However, these developments had real consequences for the sport sector. This paper clearly illustrates the unintended and complex outcomes of a policy process with interdependent power relations and interests. Over the past decades, health-related aims gained dominance in Dutch sport policy, but certainly not in a straightforward way.

dit is een artikel uit :
Houlihan, B. (2011). International journal of sport policy and politics (ISSN: 1940-6940). Oxfordshire, UK: Taylor & Francis (Routledge Journals)