Revitalizing De Heurne’s Old Soccer Field: A Holistic Approach

View of the multifunctional sports arena in De Heurne showcasing various activity zones.

Discover the transformation of an old soccer field in De Heurne, emphasizing the importance of holistic physical activities for cognitive development and overall well-being.

Read more: Revitalizing De Heurne’s Old Soccer Field: A Holistic Approach

The Importance of Physical Activity for Cognitive Development

Engaging in sports serves various purposes. While many blogs have extensively discussed elite sports, recreational sports and simple exercises are equally essential. It’s a well-acknowledged fact that regular movement benefits our brains. Research, such as that by Van der Niet et al. (2014), indicates that children with better physical fitness outperform their less active peers in executive functions. Moreover, as per Van der Fels’s 2015 study, children with superior motor skills excel in cognitive functions. Especially, intricate motor skills, which involve rapid sequential movements or coordination between limbs, correlate positively with cognitive abilities. Hence, diversified movement is paramount for the developing brain.

De Heurne’s Vision for an Abandoned Soccer Field

In De Heurne, a quaint town near Dinxperlo, the community envisioned a novel purpose for a forsaken soccer field. They aimed to design a multifunctional arena catering to diverse activities. Sportbrain’s expertise contributed significantly to the Sport Committee’s decisions. The challenge lay in catering a wide spectrum of sports for all age groups. The emphasis for children was on providing a versatile range of movement activities.

In a 2002 article, Jane Clark and Jason Metcalfe highlighted the necessity for children to possess a broad motor skill base. This foundation encompasses essential movement skills like walking, running, jumping, as well as abilities like catching, throwing, hitting, and kicking a ball. Additionally, balancing skills, such as climbing or cycling, are integral. These skills form the bedrock for engaging in a multitude of sports. Bearing this knowledge in mind, the committee brainstormed various movement options suitable for a soccer field. Their brainstorming culminated in the following diagram:

View of the multifunctional sports arena in De Heurne showcasing various activity zones.

Unveiling De Heurne’s Multifunctional Sports Arena

At a glance, the revamped field clearly showcases the soccer area. However, there’s more than meets the eye, as evident from the attached video. The field, as illustrated in the video, offers myriad movement opportunities. For movement skills, there’s a running track, various tree obstacles, and a survival challenge. The soccer field, basketball court, and the Jeu de Boule pitch cater to object skills. Furthermore, for balance skills, a cycling track, obstacle course, and tree stumps have been installed. The arena doesn’t stop at sports; it also incorporates a barefoot trail, bee boxes, a playground, a vegetable garden, and a multi-purpose building with a terrace. Every inch has been optimized for diverse audiences.

Ultimately, their efforts didn’t just yield a fantastic field, but also won them the “Kern met Pit” award, an initiative by the KNHM Foundation, encouraging citizens to beautify and socialize their surroundings. In conclusion, this vibrant field embodies the essential conditions for individuals to indulge in a variety of physical activities and sports.


Van der Niet, A., Hartman, E., Smith, J., Visscher, C. (2014). Modeling relationships between physical fitness, executive functioning, and academic achievement in primary school children. Psychology of Sport & Exercise, 15, 319-325.

Fels, I. van der, Wierike, S., te, Hartman, E., Elferink-Gemser, M.T., Smith, J., & Visscher, C. (2015). The relationship between motor skills and cognitive skills in 4-16 year old typically developing children: A systematic review. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sports, 18, 697-703.  

Clark JE & Metcalfe JS (2002). The mountain of motor development: a metaphor. In: Clark JE & Humphrey J (eds.), Motor development: research and reviews, volume 2, 163-190. Reston, VA: NASPE Publications

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top