If you like sports, Groningen is the right place for you. There are many sports clubs and student sport associations, ranging from soccer and salsa dancing to underwater hockey and lacrosse. There are simply too many sports clubs to list all of them below. Here you can find a list of all the sports that are offered in Groningen. If you select a sport, you will get an overview of the relevant sports clubs. You can then have a look which of the clubs fits you best.
Student sports associations
There are around 50 different sports associations for students in Groningen. These associations are connected to the ACLO. The ACLO sports centre is the biggest student sports umbrella organization in the Netherlands, where students can enjoy sports 15 hours a day, almost every day. An ACLO Sports card is only €59,95 per year and if you are only in Groningen for less than six months, you can get the card for €49,95. You can get a card for just the summer for €24,95. With this card you get access to many classes, courses, sports clubs and the tennis, squash and football facilities.
Outdoor sports facilities
There are many outdoor public sports facilities in Groningen, where you can enjoy your own workout. For an overview of outdoor fitness facilities, have a look here. If you are looking for other outdoor facilities, such as a tenniscourt or a skatepark, have a look here. Some sports associations also offer outdoor classes, often depending on the season. If you are interested in walking meet-ups inside the city or in the province, have a look at the Groningen Walkers.
Sports for kids 0-4 years old
You may want to take some active classes with your young child. There are baby swimming classes, yoga classes and other activity meet-ups for young children. You can find an overview of baby swimming classes on the Sport050 website. Yoga classes for young children are offered through Sadasiva, Kinderyoga050, and Het Zonnekompas.
For recommendations in your area or from other international families of other baby activities, try asking the Expats in Groningen group on Facebook.
Sports for kids 4-12 years old
Once children are at school, they will start receiving the Sporthopper, a folder with an overview of introductory courses for all sports offered to primary school children. You can choose sports classes from this folder and register through Sporthopper for the classes. The classes are offered very cheaply so that children can try out a number of sports. The Sporthopper is offered in September and again in January.
If your child has chosen a sport, it is very common in the Netherlands for children to join a sports club. The most popular sports for children below the age of 12 are soccer, gymnastics, dancing and hockey. There are many sports clubs in Groningen that offer classes for children, in almost every sport imaginable. Sport050 has an overview of sports clubs for children per age category. Asking other parents at school is a good way to find out which clubs are nearby, popular or suitable for your child.
In the Netherlands it is compulsory for children to obtain a swimming diploma. Swimming diplomas can be obtained at level A, B or C. All children need to obtain at least level A.
Children can start swimming lessons from 4 years of age, and often start between 5 and 6 years of age. There are many locations for swimming lessons. Sport050 has provided an overview of most swimming pools in Groningen (Dutch only). The municipal swimming pools also offer swimming lessons themselves, but these sometimes have waiting lists. There are also many private organisations offering swimming lessons, at the municipal swimming pools or at their own locations. Asking other parents at your child’s school is a good way to find out about recommended swimming classes in the area.