Last month it became clear that Flemish sports clubs are facing a shortage of sports trainers: “A survey by the Flemish Sports Federation shows that half of the 18,500 sports clubs in Flanders are looking for additional trainers,” says MP Vanden Borre.
What exactly is it like in Brussels? Here too, that search often proves difficult. In addition, a shortage of trainers means that sports clubs are forced to introduce a membership freeze. For example, twelve of the fifty Brussels sports associations, which are recognized and subsidized by a Flemish sports federation, have introduced a membership freeze.
What also plays a role in a membership freeze is the popularity of the sport, Persoons explains. A membership freeze is more common in swimming, basketball and football. A lack of infrastructure is also sometimes to blame, Persoons admits, as is a lack of capacity among the volunteers who organize the operation.
The French-speaking youth basketball team Royal CANTER Schaerbeek also recognizes this, which has also introduced a membership freeze. “Our teams are full,” explains Alain Lenglez, club president. “Schaerbeek is very young, so there is a great demand for sports and exercise.”
In the meantime, the club had to refuse dozens of new members and is working with a waiting list. “New members have to wait for the new season to register or we try to guide them to other clubs.”
“We have about thirty teams, which we divide over three halls,” Lenglez continues, “but we also have to share them with other sports. There are simply not enough halls, more are urgently needed.”
Moreover, the search for professional coaches is also difficult at Royal CANTER.
To solve the problem, the VGC sports service hopes to support parents and their children by referring them to alternatives and the VGC also wants to increase the offer. “We are working on that,” says Persoons.
In addition, according to her, pilot projects have been set up that mainly showed that the deployment of a professional youth sports coordinator had the greatest effect on developing sustainable youth activities. The VGC also wants to focus more on this.