Positive Behavior Support in sport clubs in the Netherlands: first experiences

Harold Hofenk, Nicolette van Veldhoven, Arnold Bronkhorst

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Sports constitute a basis of fun for many (young) people and can contribute to important social developments. Sport can also yield opposite results:: arrogance, bullying, (sexual) intimidation, discrimination. Effects are largely influenced by the context of (youth) sport participation. In facing the reality of organized sport, creating a safe and pedagogical environment is not a priori inherent in sports. Many sports associations and clubs still primarily and too often focus on issues like schedules, organizing training and competitions, being financially sound and ensuring the continuity of their organizations. Specific policies for the prevention of harassment and abuse in sport hardly ever reach a local level. Experts speak of an implementation issue. In search for innovative approaches, Positive Behavior Support (PBS) was also introduced in the sport context. In this article, the preliminary evaluation of first experiences with PBS in local sport clubs (which are mostly run by volunteers) is described on the basis of seven insights. Conclusions can be drawn that PBS can be a guiding principal in sport clubs with organizational strength, although it needs specific translation within the context of sport. Further research is required to determine those significant adjustments.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages29
JournalPBS Europe
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • sport clubs
  • pedagogy


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