Sports in NL

No matter the weather or how busy a day may be, dutch people do daily exercise and they do it intensively. I do not know exactly if there is a tradition behind that, but there might be an excuse. I tried to figure out that talking with several residents and gathering different opinions. After that procedure, I would say that I have a solid reasoning.

I would not start with something different than cycling. As I mentioned in a previous blog, the country is super flat and the road infrastructures “force” you to cycle. At the end, I realized that I barely walk anymore because it is way better to roll! Moreover, just a look in the canals that surround you, you can easily understand that rowing is very famous as well. Well, when you do not have mountains to do hiking, that I love, you need to exploit what nature provides! No matter the age, sex or the weather you will always see rowing boats in the canals and of course instructors (obviously cycling) in parallel with them, because the canals are used to transportations as well.

Probably you searched on Google what “rowing” is. I agree it is not the most popular sport world wide. However, you do not need to be a football fan in order to know that the Dutch are famous for their football academies. Ajax FC is the most famous football club in the Netherlands and players like the great Johan Cruijff, Marco van Basten, Dennis Bergkamp, Clarence Seedorf, Frank Rijkaard and many many more learned the secrets of football in these academies. However, the last decades the attitude to sell all the great players that these academies produce kept Ajax FC away from big European successes. I feel the need to spend some more lines to the great football Dutch national team…. of the past (it is a pitty that they do not participate in the World Cup 2018). The well known “Total football” of 1970s as well as the great generation of 1994-2015 are some examples of how great the Dutch national team used to be and it is really unfair that they never won a World cup trophy.

As you probably understood I love football and I would be able to write a whole book regarding this subject. It cannot be mentioned the tradition of the Dutch in boxing! I do not know much about that, however I am sure that they are great on that realizing from personal experience that they have their own style (different than in Greece for example). Of course there are more sports that are famous here (like running) but we cannot cover everything in one blog! Finally, lets talk about something that, surprisingly (because of their size), the Dutch are not famous for. Of course I talk about basketball. Yes, they have a national team and a basketball league as well, but these teams does not exist in the “basketball map”.

I hope this blog gave you some insight about sports in the Netherlands and of course some motivation for exercise! So, try to find the motivation to exercise before motivation will find you!


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