Verenigingen? Sports Clubs, Unions, Societies & Associations in Amsterdam

Yes, verenigingen is quite a mouthful, even for the Dutch! But don't let the long word throw you off, these fitness and sports clubs, unions, societies and associations offer some of the best things to do around the city of Amsterdam.

What's in a name?

Sometimes the Dutch language seems like a contest of who can come up with the longest and most complicated words for the simplest things, although the Germans probably win!

A ‘vereniging’, literally meaning “to unite” or “to bring together”. It is a club, union, society or association. Sports clubs are generally called verenigingen and there are many different sports on offer. These range from basic football clubs to the more unique pursuits like archery clubs.

Many of the general sports on offer can be found here in our index and also in our printed version of InLivin’. We thought it would be interesting to explore some of those outside of the mainstream.

Here is a list of some of the more unique verenigingen in Amsterdam, that step out of the realm of mainstream sport in the Netherlands.


Amsterdam ‘78
A table-tennis [tafeltennis] club started in 1934 and still going strong. It has both junior (under 18) and senior (18 and over) teams playing competitions. There’s several membership options for both juniors and seniors.

- Juniors: Competition membership €143 p/year. Non-competition membership €117.50 p/year.

- Seniors: Competition membership €150 p/year. Non-competition membership €104 p/year.

- Table hire: €10 p/hour, exclusive racket and balls

It’s located in an old print shop near the Vondelpark on the Schoolstraat 2, just off the Overtoom. 

Click here to learn more...


Grupo Malungos de Capoeira
A non-contact sport with many tales of origin with the most well know where the slaves on the Brazilian cotton plantation devised a martial art that was disguised as a dance. Trains balance, strength, agility and endurance, it is the perfect sport for all ages and both sexes.

Training for adults:

Contribution is €50,- per month, 3 times per week

Training for children:
Contribution is €30,- per month, training is once a week.
Marnixplein 1 and other various locations over the year. Contact directly for location details. Check website for more info.



Inlinehockey & Skatevereniging Survivors

Started in 1986 when rollerdiscos were booming and skaters took out a tennis ball and ice hockey stick to pass the time before the disco opened. It grew into a club that offered beginners and advanced lessons, full contact roller-hockey and roller-basketball. Today the Survivors club still does just that.... they are hanging in there. :) You can visit them at these following addresses:

  • Sporthal Oostenburg - Oostenburgergracht 151
  • Sportcentrum de Pijp - Lizzy Ansinghstraat 88
  • Skaterink Survivors - Kinderdijkstraat 29

Prices vary from skate lessons for €95 p/y for under 13 up to inline hockey for 16 and up for €186,- p/y. For a comprehensive pricelist visit their website here.


Kaatsclub Amsterdam
For those of you who were hoping to get a bit of Dutch history mixed in with your next exercise session, here’s one you may like. Kaatsen (free translation bouncing) is one of the oldest sport with a set of rules. The sport was played exclusively by the elite in up until the 15th century, when the “common man” started playing the game. This led to the elite introducing a club, the “teneyt”, and it’s thought to be the predecessor to tennis. Kaatsclub Amsterdam was founded in 1902 and is still active.
Bok de Korverweg 6. Visit their website.


Similar to basketball in some ways, players try to throw a large ball into the opposing teams korf [basket], which sits on a 3 meter high pole. Korfbal began in the early 1900’s, brought to the Netherlands (via a similar Swedish game) by Nico Broekhuijsen as a way to get students active in physical education. It is particularly interesting because it is one of the few high level sports that is played with mixed teams of women and men.

A.S.V. Swift is one of the oldest Korfbal clubs in the city. It was established on August 17, 1918. Contact them for more details here.

US Handbal

Founded in 1964 for (international) students, but is also open to non-students. Almost every Sunday there’s a competition match indoor, outdoor or in the sand as beach handball. The club has 10 court teams, 5 male and 5 female, playing in the competition.

Contribution is €282,- p/y for non-students and €195,- p/y for students. Along with this there’s a single expense of €35,- for the uniform.

- Amstelcampushal - 2e Boerhaavestraat 10 / phone: (020) 525 80 77

- Sporthal de Pijp - Lizzy Ansinghstraat 88 / phone: (020) 672 20 91

Visit website for more details.


So now that you know what they are, will you give them a try?

We have only highlighted a few of the hundreds that exist in Amsterdam alone. When you add in the verenigingen that are not sports-based, you will find that there are thousands available to choose from! So give them a try and let us know how it goes.