Utrecht University has played a unique, pioneering role in the development of scholarly research on sport in the Netherlands. The focus area Sport & Society, which was established by the Utrecht University board in 2014, builds on this tradition. It differs from dominant current sports research by not focusing on (the extent, quality and level of) exercise and sports, but on its contribution to public values.
In our view, this contribution is impossible to understand from a monodisciplinary perspective. Therefore, all Sport & Society research and education is interdisciplinary in nature, with attention to spatial, medical, legal, institutional, organizational, administrative, socio-cultural, psycho-social, economic and policy aspects.
Sports & Society creates opportunities for unique forms of collaboration among faculties and research groups that focus on the sport context to explore theoretical and social issues. We do so by making seed money available , organizing seminars and creating funding opportunities, for example via NWO, EU and NWA. Sport & Society also develops new forms of education, such as the global master's programme ‘Sport for Development’.
The focus area will be supported by the Utrecht University board until 2022 and is part of the Vitality Academy, in collaboration with TU Eindhoven and UMCU.
In addition, the focus area works together with partners such as: KNVB, Johan Cruyff Foundation, FC Utrecht, TNO, NIZW and RIVM.