Willem de Boer, former PhD candidate at the Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB), has won the Boymans Prize for the best dissertation in the field of sports, physical education and recreation. De Boer,
currently researcher and lecturer at HAN University of Applied Sciences, received the prize for his dissertation 'Sport as a medicine for health and health inequalities'.
De Boer, who completed his PhD at FEB under the supervision of Professor Ruud Koning and Professor Jochen Mierau,
received the prize during the Day of Sports Research on Thursday 24 November. According to the jury report, De Boer's thesis makes an important contribution to the discussion about the societal importance of sport and exercise. The dissertation provides a factual basis for widely shared insights and powerfully presents those insights through adequate use of theory and quantitative research methods.
De Boer is pleased with the prize, which he sees as a recognition for his work and as an incentive for other sports researchers. In his dissertation, he shows that sports participation largely explains the large health inequalities between low and high-income groups. De Boer’s research also shows that neighborhoods with a higher percentage of voluntary sports club members have significantly lower average health care costs.The sports economist hopes that the Boymans Prize will help to raise awareness of the importance of sport and exercise, especially outside the sports world. "Hopefully, policymakers will realize more and more that the potential benefits and cost reduction of sports are enormous. This may be truer now than ever, since the corona crisis (and possibly also the energy crisis) seems to have worsened the movement poverty in the Netherlands, especially among low-income groups.
The Boymans Prize for the best dissertation in the field of sports, physical education and recreation has been awarded annually since 1987. By awarding the prize annually, the Boymans Foundation fund wants to encourage scientists from universities and universities of applied sciences to conduct research and publish in the field of physical education, sports and recreation. The Boymans Prize for best dissertation consists of a sum of 1,250 euros, a certificate and a bronze plaque.
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