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While sports may not be the first thing you associate with Amsterdam, the Dutch capital is certainly a sporty and active city, with a range of events, teams and stadiums in the local area. Sports fans can learn more about these teams, or even get involved in any of the city’s annual sporting events.
The city’s local football team just so happens to be one of the most famous and successful football clubs in the history of the game, producing stars such as Johan Cruyff, Clarence Seedorf, Dennis Bergkamp and Marco Van Basten. Head to the Amsterdam Arena, where the team play their home games, and witness the passion and enthusiasm of the Dutch fans first-hand. You can also take a tour of the stadium and learn the history of this prestigious and pedigree football club, as well as hearing stories about famous players and matches. Ajax also have the rare privilege of being one of the few teams to be allowed to keep the European Cup, having won it 4 times in total and 3 times consecutively in the 70s. You can see the European Cup for yourself in the stadium tour.
For a completely new sporting experience, why not try catching a game of korfball? Korfball is a sport similar to basketball and netball which is incredibly popular in the Benelux region. Korfball is quick and intense, with 2 short periods of just over half an hour, making it an exciting game to watch. The season runs for most of the year, but the true highlight is in April, when the top 4 teams play against each other in a playoff to decide who will be crowned champions for that season. Tickets start from just €15 and who knows, perhaps you’ll discover a new favourite sport!
In English, the “Dam to Dam Run”, the Dam Tot Damloop is a race which takes participants on a 16km run from Amsterdam to the heart of Zandaam. Taking place each September, the race sees up to 35,000 contestants of all levels looking to set their own personal best, whether that’s a sprint, a jog or a walk. There are also children’s events for sporty kids, who can choose to race on a 0.6km or 2.2km trail!
Throughout the weekend, there are walking trails for those who aren’t quite up for a jog, and cycling routes which range from 40 to 145km. There is also themed entertainment for spectators and competitors to help cap off a great weekend.
Copa Amsterdam is where the future of football begins. An annual football tournament taking place each May which pits 8 of the best under-19 teams against each other, including the youngsters from the prestigious Ajax Academy. During the same weekend, the Olympic Stadium also hosts several other events from various sports, including a basketball showcase, with crazy tricks from some of the most skilful ballers around. There’s also a street tennis cup for children aged up to 15, and a martial arts showcase. There is also a special edition of Amsterdam’s Friday Night Run, so you can get involved in the festival yourself if you’re feeling sporty!