Centre of Expertise Health innovation

Research group Impact of Sport

Sports promote social interaction, which may contribute to a dynamic, resilient and inclusive society. To create valuable social interactions, sports organisations must be able to cope with increasingly diverse communities. A considerable task for the traditional sports club, which requires new forms of collaboration between sports clubs, residents, local and national government, public and private organisations.

About the research group


The Impact of Sport research group focuses on promoting social vitality, inclusion and resilience by strengthening organisations, professionals and volunteers involved in sports management. The research investigates how to positively enhance the social impact of sport in urban areas facing important social issues and challenges, especially in ethnically diverse communities.   


Impact of Sport researchers are working within communities alongside residents, sports associations and other sports providers, students, municipalities, public and private organisations. Action research and innovations from living labs generate new useful knowledge on cooperation and co-existence, unlocking potential (new) organisational forms, practical skills for sports professionals and volunteers and a new, positive impact of sport on society. The research group works in a demand-driven and practice-oriented manner, in The Hague and beyond.

About the professor

dr. Frank van Eekeren

As a management and organisation research scientist, Frank van Eekeren has spent over 20 years investigating the social significance of sport in relation with the organisation of sport. In his PhD dissertation De Waardenvolle Club (the valuable club), he describes an ideal sports organisation that creates public value in addition to value creation in the nexus of sport and business. He conducts research in and around the field of sports, both locally and internationally, and publishes in journals, sports publications and blogs. Frank is also employed as Associate Professor at Utrecht University School of Governance.

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In a superdiverse society, the unifying role of sport is becoming increasingly important.