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Elite sports and education, a challenging combination

Centre for Elite Sports and Education (TeamNL centre), this name has been chosen on purpose. Following education is of crucial importance. Also for elite athletes. Because at some point, your elite sports career will come to an end. However, the combination of elite sports and education is often a difficult one. Therefore, we cooperate with various educational institutes. To enable this combination. The educational programme for TeamNL athletes is adapted to the elite sports programme as much as possible. This is a prerequisite, because the full-time talents and elite athletes train twice a day and are thus not capable of following the complete educational programme.


The junior elite athletes are often still in secondary school. For them, we cooperate with VMBO ‘t Venster and the Beekdal Lyceum in Arnhem, both connected to the LOOT foundation (National Organisation for Education and Elite Sports). These are elite sports talent schools. Where elite athletes are provided with a customized programme. A flexible timetable, for example. And the possibility to spread exams over different periods. But the LOOT facilities alone are not sufficient for our athletes. Therefore, we finance further timetable adjustments and additional support hours.

Elite athletes in secondary vocational education (mbo), higher professional education (hbo) or university also require special educational facilities to be able to combine elite sports and their studies. For them, we have established a cooperation with the Rijn Ijssel College, the College of Arnhem and Nijmegen (HAN) and the University of Utrecht. The elite athletes of TeamNL centre Papendal qualify for special elite sports arrangements at these educational institutions. There are even a number of tailor-made programmes taught @Papendal. Between 11.00 and 15.00 in the Sports and Education building. The HAN offers elite sports courses in physiotherapy & sports management. And the Rijn IJssel College offers a CIOS talents class. This enables the elite athletes to train in the morning as well as in the afternoon without any travel time. In addition to the mentioned partners, we collaborate with the Saxion Topsport Academy and the Young Talent Academy in Nijmegen.


Sports and Education building

The Sports and Education building is located @Papendal. This is very convenient, as elite athletes are provided with education just steps away from their training accommodations. Here, a number of sports related programmes are offered by the Rijn IJssel College and the HAN. Not only TeamNL athletes, but also regular students follow their classes here.

Study intermediary

If problems are imminent in the combination of elite sports and studies, an intermediary person is often needed. Someone who knows both the sports environment and education well. Someone who knows what is needed. That is why we have a study intermediary. His office is located in the sports hotel, where many junior elite athletes live. They can thus easily walk in for a conversation. The study intermediary always invites TeamNL athletes (and parents if desired) for an initial interview at school. Subsequently, junior athletes are invited for an interview once a month. Senior athletes take the initiative themselves to involve him when needed.


Related tags

Elite sports