Safety in sport
People should engage in sport safely. There should be clear rules and a minimum risk of injury. The government is funding various activities to increase safety in sport.
Sportsmanship and respect
Aggression, discrimination and threatening language have no place in sport. The Ministries of Health, Welfare & Sport and Security & Justice have joined forces with the national sports associations, the Association of Netherlands Municipalities (VNG) and the Employers’ Association for the Social and Welfare Services Sector (MO groep W&MD) and produced the Action Plan for Sportsmanship and Respect. It contains measures to strengthen sportsmanship and fair play. Undesirable behaviour should be prevented as far as possible and if it occurs, tougher penalties should be imposed.
The Action Plan will:
- lay down and enforce ground rules on sportsmanship and respect across the board;
- ensure that all sports associations have a well organised and transparent disciplinary procedure, including sanctions, registration and strict rules on exclusion;
- establish guidelines on what constitutes desirable and undesirable behaviour;
- assess the feasibility of introducing tougher sanctions for people who perpetrate violence against referees;
- assess whether, in the event of a criminal offence, a criminal complaint could be made to the police by someone other than the victim.
The Action Plan will be further elaborated by the government and its partners. Some €7 million per year will be available for the Plan until the end of 2016. The government is currently investigating whether revenue from gambling can be used for this purpose.
Safety in sport means minimising the risk of injury, thus curbing associated sickness absence and medical costs.
The government will deploy a two-track strategy to reduce sports injuries.
- It will make sports medicine a distinctive branch of medicine in the healthcare system. This will enable injuries to be identified at an early stage, thus speeding up recovery. The government will finance the training of sports physicians in order to improve the treatment of sports injuries.
- It will launch a public information campaign on preventing sports injuries and other sports-related medical problems. The campaign could tie in with the website Sportzorg.nl, which lists the contact details of institutions for sports medicine and gives information and advice on sensible approaches to sport and exercise. The website Voorkomblessures.nl offers tips and suggestions on how to prevent injury in a range of sports. The Consumer Safety Institute is coordinating the sports injury prevention policy.