Sport Studies students promote Uniek Sporten App

It is not always easy for athletes with disabilities to find suitable sports facilities in their own municipality. The Uniek Sporten (Unique Sports) App offers a solution. But how do you spread the word about the app and reach the target group? Sport Studies students took care of that.

The Uniek Sporten App helps disabled athletes to find suitable sports facilities close by. That in itself is great, but the app also helps disabled athletes with subsidy programmes and it can help you find a sports buddy as well as suitable sports equipment. Moreover, disabled athletes can use the app to get in touch with an adapted sports advisor who can help them if they have any questions. All the more reason to put this app in the spotlight, which went live this spring in the regions of Midden-Holland and Holland Rijnland.

Creating awareness

Marvin Straver, consultant of Sports Team Service Zuid-Holland and former Sports Science student, is the person responsible in the province of Zuid-Holland for adding content and keeping the app up-to-date and making sure that municipalities participate. He was not only looking for ways to create awareness of the app among handicapped athletes, but also among a number of municipalities and sports organisations in the province of Zuid-Holland. A phone call about internships from Tom Roovers, internship coordinator Sports Studies, led to a conversation about the new app and whether it was possible to create awareness with the help of students.

Realistic assignment

In April and May, one hundred first-year students started working on this in nineteen municipalities. “It was good for the students to have a realistic assignment from a real client,” says Marvin. “And they came into contact with municipalities.” In order to make students more familiar with disabled sports, Team Sport Service Zuid-Holland organized a workshop for sitting volleyball and wheelchair basketball. The students also practiced on a trail with a wheelchair.

Champions day

The students went to work enthusiastically and yielded good results. Marvin says: “I was allowed to talk about the app on local TV and radio in the municipality Krimpenerwaard. In the municipality Zuidplas, students organised a challenge to kick a ball with a blindfold on. In order to find participants, they went to different sports clubs in the area where they also told people about the app. And in Katwijk, students had their own stand at the Dirk Kuyt Foundation Champions Day.”

Benefits

Marvin reflects on a successful collaboration: “I could not have done this on my own and I hope that we can do more projects like this in collaboration with The Hague University of Applied Sciences.” He is pleased with the publicity that the students have managed to generate, but that is not all. “It was also nice to see that the students were getting more and more enthusiastic about disabled sports as the project went on.”