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NL Sports Week World Expo

Knowledge Centre for Sport & Physical Activity Netherlands acts as knowledge partner of the NL Sports Week during the World Expo in Dubai. This world exhibition is organized every five years and an excellent opportunity to use the power of sport for international trade, diplomacy, innovation and knowledge exchange and social programs. Together with Sportinnovator, the Orange Sports Forum and the KNVB we will present the Dutch sport sector.

From 11 to 16 December 2021, we will shine a light on the Dutch sport with various seminars live at the Expo and digitally via a live stream, with the motto ‘Changing the Game Together’.

Join us online!
Do you want to follow one of the seminars online? Register for free via Dutchdubai.com. The sign up button is located at the top in the right corner of the screen. When you have completed the registration process you can participate for free in all live streams, hosted by the Dutch pavilion. You will not receive a separate link for a specific session.

Seminar: The importance of sport and physical activity in the lives of women and girls|
Wednesday 15 December

Powered by the Knowledge Centre for Sport & Physical Activity Netherlands,
with support of Dubai Sports Council, FBMA Abu Dhabi, TAFISA and Soroptimist International Dubai

In this seminar/webinar we will exchange the pitfalls and opportunities for sports and physical activity for girls and women in different countries, with a focus on empowerment and leadership. Participation in sport not only has a positive impact on health and active citizenship, but also gives women the opportunity to profile their talents and achievements in society. This also improves self-esteem and confidence in female participants.


The participation of both women and men, girls and boys in sport appears to be quite balanced in the Netherlands. Gender equality is certainly on the agenda, and much remains to be done. Jacqueline will not only share facts and figures, but also inspiring stories about sports initiatives in the Netherlands and abroad that focus on girls and women. Research shows that the resulting social value of this is becoming increasingly clear. In addition we will focus on the fourteen factors that keep young people – and especially girls – involved in sport, these have been identified as part of a European funded Erasmus+ project. We will show how the benefits of using a specially designed “Keep Youngsters Involved” card game can stave off dissatisfaction and help prevent girls from dropping out of their chosen sport.
She was a player in the Dutch National Women’s Team till 2004. Her education includes a Master International Sportmanagement at the Johan Cruyff Institute, a MBA at Nyenrode and - among others - the UEFA Women in Football Leadership Program.
Monique Simons

Dr. Monique Simons has a background in Human Movement Sciences and holds a PhD from the VU University Amsterdam (Health Sciences) on a study of ‘active video games’. Dr. Simons is currently working as a scientific researcher at Wageningen University & Research (Consumption and Healthy Lifestyles). She works on socially relevant issues around healthy lifestyles and behavior change with partnerships between science, practice and policy.

Jacqueline Kronenburg

Jacqueline Kronenburg is a seasoned public affairs manager and communications professional working with the Knowledge Centre for Sport & Physical Activity Netherlands. After a study of and working in journalism she pursued a career in public relations and communications securing positions with a Dutch airline and several national care organisations. In her work for the knowledge centre she focuses on monitoring decision-making in the field of sport, physical activity and lifestyle health in both The Hague and Brussels. She identifies and describes developments in these fields with a view to supporting professionals, while acting as a neutral source of information for politicians and stakeholders. Regarding the international affairs portfolio, Jacqueline is the contact person for organisations that seek collaboration with the Knowledge Centre, in Europe as well as outside. She has been the congress rapporteur for the TAFISA World Congress (Seoul, 2017) and keynote speaker at a women’s conference organised by the Dutch consulate (St Petersburg – Russia, 2018).
As an active member of the worldwide organisation Soroptimist International – ‘the global voice for women’ – she is committed to supporting the status of women and girls, and certainly in the field of sports.

Keri McDonald

Keri McDonald undertakes research on the status of Sport for All around the globe as well as manage projects to support partners and stakeholders in the TAFISA mission to increase sport and physical activity for all citizens worldwide. She is project leader of Europe in Action, an Erasmus+funded project which translates European sport policy into priorities for practical action, including the topic of gender equity in sport. On top of that, she leads the FLOT mentorship and mobility programme which aims to equip a generation of young African and European women with the skills, knowledge, experience and guidance to lead the Sport for All Movement​.

Joyce Bijl

Dutch national Joyce Bijl – sales director and program Head Middle East for Pontoon Solutions (Adecco Group) – will moderate this seminar with a theme that is close to her heart. In recent years, Joyce has been physically very active. She enjoys to challengs herself through sports. She participated in an official white collar boxing fight, completed the Marathon des Sables and finished the Full Ironman in Lanzarote, to name a few. “Finishing these kinds of events brings you so much more: the happiness, the pride and the confidence that you are able to do so much more, if you get your head around it”. Joyce held several positions in a number of countries and has been located in the Netherlands, China, Hong Kong and the United Arabic Emirates. Joyce is very proud of the multiple awards she received throughout her career with the most recent ones the recognition of Forbes as one of the top 100 leaders in the Arabic world both in 2017 and 2018. 2018 was especially rewarding, being the only female who made it to the list.
Additionally she is very engaged with the Win4youth wellbeing program under the Adecco Group Foundation. In this program Adecco encourages colleagues, clients and contractors to be physically active and track these activities. The distance or time spent on the activity gets converted into charity funding for Plan International.

Laura van Leeuwen

Laura van Leeuwen, general manager Ajax Youth Academy at Sharjah FC (UAE)

In this position, Laura is responsible for ensuring good conditions for the implementation of Ajax’s football philosophy at the youth academy of Sharjah FC (UAE). She supervises and monitors the progress of the Ajax team at Sharjah FC and manages commercial activities.

Mariam Rashed Al Mansoori

Mariam is Board Member of the Fatima Bint Mubarak World Sports Award and Board Member of the International Conference of Sports for Women.
Her role as Conference Specialist – Communication and Technical Affairs in Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy is to provide Emirati women and women residing in the UAE with educational health and sports seminars, workshops and forums on a wide spectrum of topics. This includes: sports psychology, healthy nutrition and lifestyle. Mariam represents the Academy and the United Arab Emirates in several conferences inside and outside the country. Mariam also is a presenter at “Hayaakum” which is a sports social program provided by FBMA to host Emirati influential sport figures.
B.S.: Health Information Management, HCT Abu Dhabi Women’s College, UAE, Abu Dhabi.

Amna Obaid al Mehiri

Amna’s passion for sports and basketball got her to be a part of the UAE national basketball team. Her experiences for 13 years in basketball including the Al Nasr and Bani Yas team helped her land her spot at the ADLC basketball team.

Amna is now a senior associate in the information technology department (IT) – DevOps engineering team. Her main role is to support the development cycle for all developers around the IT department by facilitating the work management and their release process.
B.S.: Multimedia Design, Zayed University, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Abeer Khaja

Abeer Khaja currently works as acting director of marketing in Dubai Sports Council. She’s passionate about media overall
and more specially media in sports and culture. She raises awareness in the field through her current job and in her free time she often speaks about the benefits of active living. She hopes and aspire to represent the UAE in international and local forums as an Emirati career woman. She is also a co-founder of Ana Gow running club a running club dedicated to women in the UAE.

Kenniscentrum Sport & Bewegen

Kenniscentrum Sport & Bewegen maakt kennis uit wetenschap, beleid en praktijk beschikbaar en toepasbaar voor professionals. Kennis over het belang en de effecten van sport en bewegen, over wat wel of niet werkt. Ook adviseren en ondersteunen we professionals bij complexe vraagstukken en het realiseren van hun eigen werkdoelen.

Orange Sports Forum


Praktische informatie

Begin: 12 december 2021
Einde: 16 december 2021



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