NL residents participating in sports less than pre-pandemic; Teenagers most affected
The number of Netherlands residents who played sports again decreased significantly last year, mainly due to the two lockdowns, NOC*NSF found in a study. The pandemic particularly affected teenagers' sporting behavior, the umbrella organization for sports found, NOS reports.
In pre-pandemic 2019, 78 percent of teens between 13 and 18 played sports monthly. Last year only 65 percent of teenagers participated in sports at least once a month. The pandemic affected not only indoor sports, which were banned during the lockdowns, but also individual outdoor activities like jogging in this age group.
For adults, monthly sports participation decreased from 62 percent in 2019 to 54 percent last year.
"The Netherlands has literally been brought to a standstill due to the coronavirus crisis," Marc van den Tweel, general manager at NOC*NSF, said to NOS. "We see an enormous movement backlog and are now in an exercise crisis."
Those who continued to play sports did so less often. In 2019, they participated in sports 9.6 times a month on average. Last year that dropped to an average of 8.2 times - the lowest sports participation since NOC*NSF started keeping track of these figures in 2013.