The Kingdom Games (Dutch: Koninkrijksspelen, Papiamento: Weganan di Reino) are a multi-sport event which is held every two years between the youth of the countries that are part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. At the last games, these countries were the Netherlands, the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba. How the 2010 dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles will affect the participating teams in the games is currently unknown. Together with creating a sportive atmosphere, respect and fraternization are also the central themes of the Games. The contact between the countries and their cultures is however the main theme. The 2011 games were scheduled to be held in Curaçao, but were cancelled due to the political situation surrounding the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles.[dated info] There is hope that the games will be held again in 2013.
The first ever Kingdom Games were held in 1965. It was a try to bring the several parts of the Kingdom closer together. In these days these parts were the Netherlands, Suriname and the Netherlands Antilles. In 1975 Suriname became undependant and did no longer take part in the Games. Between 1979 and 1983 the Games were only held between the Netherlands and the Antilles, and after that they were cancelled. In 1995 the Games were refounded by former swimmer and politician Erica Terpstra to bring the youth of the separate countries closer to each other.
Locations of the Games
- 1995: Aruba
- 1997: Curaçao (Netherlands Antilles)
- 1999: Sint Maarten (Netherlands Antilles)
- 2001: Rotterdam (Netherlands)
- 2003: Aruba
- 2005: Willemstad (Netherlands Antilles)
- 2007: The Hague (Netherlands)
- 2009: Aruba
- 2011: Curaçao – cancelled
In the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba the Games are popular. In 2005 the Ergilio Hato-stadion in Curaçao was almost sold out during the opening ceremony. It was much less popular in the Netherlands. In 2007 the opening ceremony was not held in a stadium but at the Spuiplein. Still a few thousand people showed up and the events were visited by several hundreds of people daily.
The following sports are on the current schedule of the Games:
The strength of the team of the Netherlands is adjusted to the strength of the other teams, because normally the level of the Dutch team is much higher compared to the other participants. The Dutch normally participate with regional teams or younger sportspeople to close the gap in quality.
- Netherlands Antilles
- Suriname – Participated between 1965 and 1975 until independence.
- Kingdom Games, koninkrijksspelen.org
- "Curacao 2011" (in Dutch). NOC*NSF. Retrieved 2011-10-28.
- Press notification on July 14, 2007, koninkrijksspelen.org
- Publiekstrekker ontbreekt; interesse voor Koninkrijksspelen in Nederland nooit groot geweest, d.d. 21 July 2007, algemeendagblad.nl
- "Koninkrijksspelen". NOC*NSF. Retrieved 29 October 2011.