Why join a Dutch sport club?
An online Dutch teacher talking about sports? Yes! I tell you why.
Coming to the Netherlands is a big step. You leave friends and family behind to start a new life. You arrive in a new country, in a new situation and of course, with a new language. Maybe you are here to start a new job.
And with all these changes, it might be difficult to find a new social group. Or to find people to speak to.
In this blog I want to talk about the fact that doing or watching sports is a good way to socialize and learn Dutch!
Joining a Dutch sport club to socialize and learn Dutch
Sure, sport is good for year health. At least, that is what they say. But what I want to emphasize is
Sport is one of the easiest ways to connect with Dutch people.
The Dutch love doing sports together. The Netherlands has about 25 thousand sports clubs. More than 5 million Dutch people are members of one or more of these associations. And these associations play a big part in Dutch social life. In the Netherlands you join a club, not only to play the sport, but also to be with friends. And it’s not just soccer. There are a lot of different clubs, from clubs for yoga, running, cycling and fitness to even fishing or darts clubs.
If you are moving to the Netherlands, you might experience what is called the ‘expat-bubble’. A bubble, a social circle with only expats.
Joining a club is a great way to meet people and of course practice your Dutch skills. Because this is still one of the best ways to learn Dutch, talking as much as possible with real Dutch people!
Not only can you meet people by joining a club. Just watching sport can help with socializing with the Dutch.
Watching Dutch sport to learn Dutch
Ever watched a big championship with the Dutch orange team? It is amazing.
Everybody will be dressed up in orange and go to watch the game on a big screen in the centre of each city. And if you win, you immediately have hundreds of new friends.
This is not just with the national football team. If you live in Amsterdam, Eindhoven or another city where there is a good team, you can watch important games in a local pub. But be aware that the Dutch take their team and its rivalry very seriously. So I advise you not make jokes when the opponent is winning.
Also, by watching the games you can catch up on your homework by listening and trying to learn some new Dutch words!
What sports are popular in the Netherlands?
Football (Americans call this soccer) is the biggest sport. Besides that, tennis, swimming and field hockey are important sports in Dutch culture. And also, more individual sports like fitness and running, are popular sports, too.
Want to socialize in the Netherlands?
Bart de Pau
online Dutch teacher & founder of the Dutch Summer School & Dutch Winter School