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Elite National Sports Systems: A comparison of Australia and the Netherlands : A study into Australia’s elite sports success factors to benefit the Dutch Olympic Top 10 ambition

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Elite National Sports Systems: A comparison of Australia and the Netherlands : A study into Australia’s elite sports success factors to benefit the Dutch Olympic Top 10 ambition

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Samenvatting

The Netherlands have the ambition to organize the 2028 Olympic Games and have set a path to ‘raise’ the entire country to an Olympic level through all levels of sport. As part of this path they formulated the goal to structurally place within the top 10 countries of the world at every Olympic Games. Australia is one of the most successful sporting nations in the world and has a global sports image. Australia and the Netherlands display similarities in population size, sports participation rates, GDP, and national culture yet Australia scores better at the Olympic Games than the Netherlands and has ranked within the top 10 countries at the last five Olympics. This raises the question why Australia achieves these successes. Initial research indicates that these successes were founded when successive Australian Governments changed the sports system in the late 1970s into a more commercialized, corporate, and professional model. It also showed that sport has played an important social and cultural role in Australia, providing a form of social cement which connects communities. Sport in Australia might be more deeply and cultural meaningful than in any other country. The purpose of this applied scientific study is to provide an overview of the Australian sports system with a focus on finding key success factors for success on an Olympic level that may contribute to the Dutch Olympic ambition. The scope is on the elite sports level and is guided by eight focus areas that are derived from the Dutch Olympic top 10 ambition. In addition this research zooms in on the effects of culture on sport and vice versa. The research of this dissertation is a qualitative content analysis of secondary research sources such as policy documents, annual reports, academic journals, and online databases. Results show that sport was early embedded in Australia’s culture and deeply influenced the society. Sport in Australia is used to construct both personal and national identity. Changes in the sports system in the late 1970s resulted in great successes but the world of sport is changing and so there is a shift in Australia from a primarily focus on elite sports to a more holistic approach. In the Netherlands the development of sport was shaped by existing cultural traditions and external social influences. This created a specific Dutch sports culture with its own sporting preferences and characteristic beliefs and discussions about sport. This led to a sports system that always included mass participation and grassroots sports. With the Olympic ambitions however, there is an increasing focus on elite sports as well. An increase in achievements on this elite level would require a significantly higher sports funding and centralizing resources, facilities, and support. It is evident that today’s global world of sports demands a holistic approach of the sports system.

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OrganisatieHogeschool van Amsterdam
InstituutBewegen, Sport en Voeding
Gepubliceerd in
Jaar2012
TypeBachelorscriptie
TaalEngels

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