Winter 2016

‘Sport is a universal language’

The Johan Cruyff Foundation and TenCate have extended their current fourteen-year partnership. A component of this agreement is the Cruyff Court in a box™ concept based on Field in a box™. This mobile system can now be used in asylum seeker centres as well. ‘Our main priority is to get children moving.’  

Since 2003, TenCate Grass has been the preferred partner of the Johan Cruyff Foundation and supplies synthetic turf fibres and backing. It endorses the objectives of the foundation: to get young people moving and provide them with a safe sustainable place to particpate in sports, as well as to promote sporting and social integration. 

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A temporary Cruyff Court on the roof of the United Nations headquarters in New York (June 2016)
. ‘A Cruyff Court is a happy pitch,’ said Johan Cruyff in txtures (winter 2011). ‘When you walk by and look, you can’t help smiling.’

As producer of synthetic turf fibres, backing and systems for sport, TenCate Grass works to encourage sport and sporting experience by improving sports opportunities in deprived neighbourhoods. The wear-resistant TenCate XP Blade™ XP fibre is the basis for the mini-pitches. Children can enjoy playing sports safely on Cruyff Courts, and over 200 courts have already been installed worldwide.  

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Dutch Minister Magda Ploumen (Development Corporation) and  Snehal Ambekar, mayor of Mumbai (India) do the kick-off in June 2015 on a Cruyff Court in this city

A new component is the Cruyff Court in a box™ concept as total solution. ‘Six years ago, we brainstormed together about how great it would be if we could offer a modular field, for example in a container,’ remembers Niels Meijer (director Cruyff Foundation). ‘We are delighted that TenCate has taken that idea further and developed it into Field in a box™.  The Cruyff Court in a box™ concept makes it possible to realise projects a little more easily and effectively where we are not yet visible – and more internationally too.’ 

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Basketball on a Schoolplein14

Within the framework of the partnership, TenCate has made Schoolyard14 part of the sponsorship. Schoolyard14 is also an initiative of the Johan Cruyff Foundation and its aim is to stimulate all pupils in regular and specialist primary education to take up sport. Sport encourages an active lifestyle in children and teaches them to respect one another. Schoolyard14 is a coating that is applied to the predominantly boring grey schoolyards. By applying lines and areas of colour – a playing circle, a section of athletics track, a football mini-pitch or a goal on a wall – children can be stimulated to play together and participate in sporting activities right in the schoolyard. 

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Opening of Schoolplein14 with Viggo Waas (photo: Het Westerkwartier)

Another project of the Johan Cruyff Foundation concerns an infill-free synthetic turf mat. TenCate Grass has been approached regarding this initiative too. ‘This year we initiated a tour along asylum seeker centres, something we’d like to arrange every year,’ explains Niels Meijer. ‘That’s in the summer months, when the schools are free. There’s less infrastructure available for sports so we lay out a mobile Cruyff Court where children can enjoy playing football for a week. We also organise activities around this, as well as training for coaches. After a week, we pack it up and leave behind a Schoolyard14. We do the same with sports items such as nets, vests and balls. In this way, we try to ensure structural sporting continuity at six asylum seeker centres. Our main priority is to get children moving,’ says Niels Meijer in conclusion. 

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‘The power of sport is that they learn to work together and that’s healthy. Sport is a universal language.’ 

Blue fabric (Tecawork Blue 65287)