Neighbourhood sport coaches (buurtsportcoaches) are employed to stimulate sport and physical activity in the community. These neighbourhood sport coaches are 40% funded by the state; the remaining 60% is funded by the municipality or other local organisations. Some of these coaches, the so-called Care Sport Connectors (CSCs), are employed specifically to connect the primary care and the sport sector in order to guide primary care patients towards local sport facilities. A blueprint for the implementation of the CSC was deliberately not presented, allowing municipalities to implement CSCs in line with local needs and context.
The project ‘connecting primary care, sport and physical activity’ studies the impact of the CSC in: 1) connecting the primary care and the sport sector, and 2) promoting the health of primary care patients. Therefore, the research project consists of two studies. Study I will be carried out by WUR and study II by Radboudumc. Study I focuses on the intermediary target group: the CSCs and professionals in primary care, sport, and physical activity who implement lifestyle programmes. CSCs are expected to form alliances for health by connecting professionals from different sectors, to achieve and sustain collaboration in these alliances, and to support the implementation of lifestyle programmes and activities by these alliances. Study II focuses on health and physical activity behaviour changes of primary care patients who participate in lifestyle programmes. To study the role and the impact of the CSC, a longitudinal multiple case study will be conducted in nine municipalities spread over the Netherlands, from 2014 until the end of 2016. Fourteen CSCs will be followed in their work to connect the primary care and the sport sector, and to promote the health of primary care patients.
This project is part of 'Sport'; an intervention and research programma focused on sport.
PhD researcher: dr. Karlijn Leenaars