Sports clubs lax with checks on youth team volunteers

Despite a string of scandals involving junior team sports coaches, it is still not compulsory for people working with children to have a declaration of good behaviour, the Telegraaf reports on Monday.

Now the Dutch sports federation NOC*NSF is calling on the government to make the declarations – known as a VOG – a requirement for all volunteers working with youngsters at sports clubs.

The latest scandal involves a hockey coach who was able to film hundreds of young girls in the changing rooms for several years, despite having a conviction for exposing himself.


‘Sports clubs can ask for a declaration but many do not bother,’ federation spokesman Erik Lenselink told the Telegraaf. Yet sports clubs with a large number of youngsters are a big draw to paedophiles, Lenselink points out.

Dutch sports clubs have several hundred thousand volunteers yet only some 10,000 VOGs are requested every year.

While in numerical terms, the most problems are reported at football clubs, sports involving a lot of physical contact, such as gymnastics, swimming and judo, are disproportionately targeted by paedophiles, the Telegraaf says.

According to broadcaster RTL news, the hockey club coach Luigi C was also four times given a backstage pass for Amsterdam Fashion Week as a photographer. The broadcaster says one father alerted the police when he offered to take pictures of his daughter in a hotel room.

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