There will be a broad, independent investigation into abuses across the top sports world. That is what demissionary Secretary of State Blokhuis has pledged to the House of Representatives.
A majority want cross-border behaviour to be explored more widely than in the sport of gymnastics. It was found that athletes, especially girls, have been widely victims of unwanted behavior by trainers and coaches, such as manipulation, blackmail and humiliation.
Like the House of Representatives, Blok House thinks that these abuses are also found in other sports. This includes stories of sexual abuse and assault by trainers and judges from the world of dance and womens football.
Blokhuis said in a debate that the broad research on sport culture will be done by bureau Verinorm, which also made the report Unequal Leggers on the abuses of gymnastics. Utrecht University of Applied Sciences will also be involved in the investigation.
The research will not be as in-depth as that on the sport of gymnastics, as the number of sports unions is too high for that, Blokhuis said. The researchers will identify what the culture is at all 77 sports unions, and whether there are abuses. It should be completed next year.
In the debate, MP Westerveld van GroenLinks questioned whether the term transboundary behavior does cover the load. “Is there no child abuse here? I dare say that here.”
As far as she is concerned, cases cannot always be dismissed by disciplinary law, but should also be brought before the criminal court. According to Westerveld, funding for the sport is now too focused on performance. “But what is a gold medal worth?”
Gymnasts in Public Stands
“You didnt stand a chance,” D66 MP Van der Laan said to gymnasts who called the bell and were now in the public gallery. “How can you put your child off safely for training as parents?” , noted MP Maeijer of the PVV.
Turnbond KNGU and sports dome NOC*NSF came this week with apologies to the victims in the world of gymnastics. They can all receive an allowance of 5,000 euros, the standard amount in this type of business. “But what is 5,000 euros worth if you get up daily with mental health complaints?” , suggested GroenLinkser Westerveld.
Other parties also consider the amount very low and believe that the Secretary of State should do something about it.
Blokhuis would like to, but pointed out that the standard amount also applies to victims of abuse in other sectors, such as youth care. “I dont want to differentiate in misery. Its all shitty.” He thinks you cant raise the compensation for victims in the top sport alone.
VVDer Heerema is sure that it is not a turn-specific problem and that is why he also supports a wide range of research. “We shouldnt wait for someone to come out,” he said. Blokhuis made several proposals for improvement, such as professionalising disciplinary law and prevention of abuses. He wants to monitor how things are going annually.
The Chamber sought separate attention to the sport of dance, where victims of abuse have also been explicitly reported. Blokhuis pledged that there will be an in-depth investigation into that. How exactly that is going to happen, he wants to determine later. The problem with this is that dance is not only seen as sports, but also as a culture. According to the Secretary of State, there is also a MeToo survey from the culture sector into the dance world.