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Strong together with innovation

We are continuously working on improving ourselves @Papendal. Just like the elite athletes. We search for ways to improve ourselves on a daily basis. How we can grow. And we do this in many ways. In the area of sports accommodations for example. In the Elite sports restaurant. But also in the field of sports science. We gladly explain a few of the innovation projects on this page.

Fit Food Meter

An athlete might think he is fit, but how do we measure it? There are some methods that provide some insight, like testing testosterone or cortisol in saliva or blood. In addition there are some other physiological parameters that provide insight in the fitness of an athlete. And a lot of these parameters can be influenced by nutrition. But we don’t know everything about the topic yet, a lot of it is still unknown. In this project we will study this topic using a multidisciplinary approach. Ultimate goal is to monitor the fitness of an athlete in a better way, by using physiological tests and analysis. Also in order to intervene when necessary. In this project Papendal is working closely together with the Sports Medical Centre Papendal (SMCP), Hospital Gelderse Vallei (ZGV) and the Wageningen University (WUR). The project is financially supported by de Province of Gelderland.

BMX power meter

The start of a BMX Supercross race, more specific the first two pedal strokes, is an important predictor of the end result of the race. In order to start as fast as possible the rider needs to bring effective strength and power to the pedals. But it is not easy to measure this power at the BMX start, in a reliable way. There are no products available that qualify, no products that can measure the first two pedal strokes, as well as the high frequency and left / right differences. Towards the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020 we can make more progress, if we can define the power of an athlete at the start. That’s why we initiated a new project of developing a BMX power meter, together with the Technical University in Delft, NOC*NSF and Lode.

Sensors in wheelchair racing

Wheelchair racing is a Paralympic sport in which the performances have grown over the past few years. The coaches are looking for more effective methods and techniques to enhance the performances of their athletes. The execution-technique is one of the most important points of interest. That is why we started a new project, together with the University of Groningen and The Hague University of applied sciences. The goal of the project is to get insight in the execution-technique by using objective measurements. By using inertial sensors on the wheelchair we define stroke frequency, speed and contact tangles. That’s how we get insight in effectiveness of current training methods and performances, so coaches can make better choices for their athletes.

Thermo Tokyo

We expect the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020 to be the most challenging Games due to extreme weather circumstances of +/- 33 °C, in combination with extremely high humidity. To exercise in heat is heavy on the body, sometimes even dangerous and therefore it influences performances. In order to prepare athletes, Papendal is partner in the project ‘Thermo Tokyo’, working closely together with the Radboud University, VU Amsterdam, Technical University of Delft, HAN University of applied sciences and NOC*NSF. In the climate room @Papendal athletes are tested, prepared and the athletes are taught to cool the body. All measures are individually tailored.

Green protein

We call protein coming from plant-based sources ‘green protein’. The purpose of this ‘green protein project’ is developing recipes with green protein, so that we can offer a variety of protein types. We work together with a group of startup and SME companies to develop new innovative products with green protein. For example the algae-quinoa-burger which contains 18 grams of protein. With tests, tasting sessions and surveys we evaluate whether the products meet the needs of the athlete. That is how we develop innovative products that contribute to a healthy and sustainable diet.

Sports roll

A sausage roll, but then healthier and protein rich. That’s the sports roll. A product that is developed by Houben Worstenbrood and Olympic Training Centre Papendal, made of fiber-rich dough and a protein rich chicken filling. The sports roll consists of different types of carbs and has a high protein level. Due to the low-fat level, the roll distinguishes itself from other snacks. For elite athletes carbs and protein are very important, for energy intake and muscle recovery. The sports roll is developed to meet this need and is available in the Sports Restaurant @Papendal.

Papendal Nutrition App

Adjusting your diet completely to your sports and training programme. If you are an elite athlete, that is what you want. Because that is how you can get the best out of your food. We make this possible with the Papendal Nutrition App. Elite athletes use this app on their smartphones. The app is connected to the cash register system in the Elite sports restaurant. As soon as the athlete has paid for his meal, the system sends the products with their nutritional values to the app. Here, the stripes and colours indicate if the athlete is taking in the right amounts of nutrients for that day. Products which are bought elsewhere, are entered manually by the athlete. In the dietician portal, the dietists can view the eating habits of the elite athletes which they coach. This enables personal dietary advice.


Research shows that the recovery of an elite athlete after an intensive training is comparable with the recovery of a patient after an operation. So many innovations in the field of elite sports, can also be applied in other areas. Therefore, the Eat2Move partnership has been set up. We have joined forces with six partners: Wageningen University, Hospital de Gelderse Vallei, NOC*NSF, University of Applied sciences of Arnhem and Nijmegen (HAN), NIZO food research and Friesland Campina.

The project is funded by the province of Gelderland. Its objective is to develop food that enhances the performance and recovery in (elite)sports and healthcare. Like to know more? Visit the Eat2Move website.