Location and general information
There are currently about 1,500 children practising disabled football in the Netherlands. Just like children without disabilities, they dream of playing for their favourite professional football club. Thanks to the Bijzondere Eredivisie, this dream can become a reality! Children with a disability are placed in the spotlight and everyone can see that it is also possible for every child to play at the highest level. We hope to inspire more children with disabilities to also play football and other sports.
The Bijzondere Eredivisie is a competition for professional football clubs who participate with their own team of disabled children. Launched in September 2019, this is the first competition in the world in which children with disabilities play for their favourite professional football club. The teams consist of 12 boys and girls of different ages and various disabilities. The teams are carefully selected, according to criteria that ensure a balanced competition.
- Increase the visibility of children with disabilities
- Inspire disabled children to believe that anything is possible
- Increase sports participation of disabled children
- Increase awareness of disabled football in the Netherlands
- Establish a sustainable competition, including all professional Dutch football clubs.
- Clubs 'scout' their own team
- 12 clubs and 144 children take part in the competition
- Teams train once a week at the professional club’s training ground
- Clubs organise all kind of events for their disabled teams
- Organisation of the competition (including transport)
- Competition matches are held twice a month, and every professional football club hosts once per season
- Activities are communicated on social media platforms: the teams’ own channels and those of the football clubs
- Children socialise and make new friends through their football clubs; especially during the pandemic it is very important for these children to have enough social interaction
- Notable improvement in terms of the confidence and health of the disabled children
- The players act as a catalyst for a more positive, inclusive perception of disabled children
- More disabled children start to play football
- Minimum of 18 professional clubs are involved in the competition within three years
- Clubs are 50% self-financing