English (about us)

About us

The Mulier Institute was founded in 2002 and is the only independent, non-profit, scientific sport-research institute in the Netherlands. As such, it is engaged in fundamental ánd practice-focused social-scientific sport research. It monitors the developments within the Dutch sports sector. It builds its own databases and trend series to this end, in close cooperation with academic and professional universities both in the Netherlands and abroad as well as with other research organisations and statistical administrative bodies, such as CBS Statistics Netherlands and Eurostat.

The institute aspires to enhancing the quality of sport research in the Netherlands and to translate and disseminate research findings. It is, therefore, an advocate for the appointment of sports professors, publishes review articles, and organises conferences and symposiums (such as the annual DSO Sport Research Day). The Mulier Institute is a prominent member of many national and international research communities, including Measure, EASS and ISSA.

Recent international publications include:

The Mulier Institute has an annual budget of over 2 million euros. A third of this budget is funded by an institutional grant from the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport. The other financial means stem from contract research for third parties (municipalities, ministries, sport unions and umbrella organisation) as well as subsidies from the Dutch government for scientific research.

The institute has the legal form of a foundation. It is a non-profit organisation. Its daily management is run by Dr Hugo van der Poel. The Mulier Institute employs 28 staff members, mostly researchers with a background in social sciences. The institute’s offices are located in the Galgenwaard stadium of the premier league football club FC Utrecht.

The institute is named after W.J.H. (Pim) Mulier (1865-1954), the pioneer and patriarch of (organised) sports in the Netherlands. Pim Mulier stood at the basis of the Dutch Football Association and Athletics Union, was involved in the founding of the ISU International Skating Union and helped internationally renowned sport events, such as the Four Day Marches Nijmegen and the Eleven Cities Skating Tours, take their form and shape.

For more information on the institute’s work and activities, please contact Hugo van der Poel.


Running across Europe

Over the past 40 years, running has developed into one of the most popular leisuretime physical activities in Europe. An estimated 50 million Europeans are engaged in running as a way to stay healthy and/or to challenge themselves. As a result, all over Europe running events are booming and more people have run a marathon than was the case ever before. The running market is currently estimated at some 10 million euros. This book explores the rise and size of running as a societal phenomenon. With data from 11 European countries, contributors address issues of participation and cost which have never been explored before. Drawing on this material, policy challenges and marketing possibilities are highlighted in order to make better use of the current opportunities of running.


Sport clubs in Europe

More than 60 million people in Europe participate in sport clubs, which clearly shows that sport clubs play an important role in European society. Notwithstanding trends of individualisation and consumerism, sport clubs are gaining an increasingly central role in sports policy. This is the most important message in the book ‘Sport Clubs in Europe: A Cross-National Comparative Perspective’, edited by the Mulier Institute, the University of Bern and German Sport University Cologne. The first edition of the book was presented in Brussels, at the ENGSO Forum ‘The Role of Sport Clubs in Changing Society in Future’.