Start (V)aardig is a study on the physical literacy of preschoolers. After all, children who learn to exercise well at an early age and enjoy it, often develop an active lifestyle. Neighbourhood sport coaches can play a significant role in efficiently and effectively encouraging the motor skills of preschoolers. Yet they could use some additional knowledge to work with this target group. The Healthy Lifestyle in a Supporting Environment Research Group is developing a toolbox in collaboration with 10 organisations from the sport and exercise sector.

With the National Sports Agreement, neighbourhood sport coaches and sport professionals have been given more responsibility to improve the physical literacy of children. This is sorely needed because a lack of exercise and poor motor skills are increasing among large groups of children. 

Neighbourhood sport coaches currently work as implementers of the range of sport and exercise, but also as directors or connectors between sport and exercise providers at schools, in neighbourhoods, at sports associations and in childcare. They have indicated a need for more expertise in the area of children aged 4-6. 

Toolbox for physical literacy

The neighbourhood sport coaches’ questions form the starting point for the objective of the Start(V)aardig research. That is the development of a toolkit with building blocks and tools that neighbourhood sport coaches can use to promote physical literacy in preschoolers. With this toolkit, exercise professionals, such as neighbourhood sport coaches, can increase the physical literacy and enjoyment of physical activity of preschoolers.


Researchers map out the factors that influence the physical literacy of preschoolers. They also draw up a profile of children who are less physically literate. They translate the knowledge they acquire into practical tools that are incorporated in the toolbox. The researchers also ensure that the new knowledge is made accessible for use in related senior secondary vocational education and higher education degree programmes.

A collaborative consortium

Led by The Hague University of Applied Sciences, 10 organisations from the sport and exercise sector are conducting this research. Together, they form a consortium that is funded by the Taskforce for Applied Research SIA (Regieorgaan Praktijkgericht Onderzoek SIA).

Besides The Hague University of Applied Sciences, the following organisations are partners in the consortium:

There are also another 11 organisations in the field of research, professional practice and education involved in ‘Start(V)aardig’.


The project runs from 2019 to 2023.

More information


Sanne de Vries
06 – 46 87 68 52


  • Pim Koolwijk
  • Joris Hoeboer
  • Annemarie de Witte

Samenwerking in consortium

Onder leiding van De Haagse Hogeschool voeren 10 organisaties uit de sport- en beweegsector dit onderzoek uit. Samen vormen zij een consortium dat gefinancierd wordt door Regieorgaan Praktijkgericht Onderzoek SIA. 

Naast De Haagse Hogeschool zijn de volgende organisaties partner in het consortium: 

Daarnaast zijn nog eens 11 organisaties op het gebied van onderzoek, beroepspraktijk en onderwijs betrokken bij ‘Start (V)aardig’.


Dit project loopt van 2019 tot 2023.

Meer informatie


Sanne de Vries 06 – 46 87 68 52


  • Pim Koolwijk
  • Joris Hoeboer
  • Annemarie de Witte