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Case Studies Leadership Programme

Campaign #zijfluittop by the Dutch Olympic Committee

By 18 November 2021No Comments

The Campaign #zijfluittop (#sheumpirestop) stands for ‘More female umpires in the sport’. In general, we don’t have a lack of female umpires in the sport, but the higher the level the lower the percentage of females. A national (Dutch) campaign has started with the name #zijfluittop (=she umpires top) to encourage young women to develop their umpiring to a higher level.

Brief outline of the initiative

When umpires in Holland start to umpire, between the age of 14-18, data have shown that girls are more vulnerable.

The Dutch Olympic Committee has therefore launched a campaign to help them to be mentally stronger, to know how to deal with elements of influence and resistance. Specific mentoring before and during matches is provided to give girls women the tools to get mentally stronger. Anyway, a better system of coaching is the key to success. That can be executed at club level and it is good for both boys and girls.

The national campaign #zijfluittop had a number of regional gatherings, but the most progress will be executed at the sports clubs themselves, for example by organizing workshops and refresher courses. There are federations that have more female than male members/players. It is time that this relation/rate will be to some extent reflected in the group of umpires.

The campaign was delivered from November 2018 to June 2019 through monthly masterclasses and weekly use of Social Media by the project leader as well as by the participating sports associations.


1 season


Monthly with regard to the masterclasses.


Special budget from Ministry through Dutch Olympic Committee as part of the project “Veilig Sportklimaat” (Safe environment in the sport)


Overall budget approx. 30.000 euros

Key elements


Women only

Country of origin

The Netherlands

The Netherlands

The Netherlands

Number of participants

Approx. 150

Core objective of the Programme

☒ Women empowerment (identifying barriers and working on strengths, creating a community)
☐ Supporting organizational change (strategy for developing diversity, implementation of specific policies, support to change makers)
☐ Allies buy-in and support (mentors, men championing)
☐ External Scrutiny (Pledge board, Indicators, celebration of success…)
☒ Other => Please specify: to have/to get more female umpires in the sports at national level (not club level). Not only for hockey, but also for soccer, waterpolo, handball, korfball, volleyball and basketball

Actions implemented

☐ Internal Diversity & Inclusion Strategy for a safe workplace with equal rights
☐ Commitment of men - please specify: 20% men included in the program
☐ Personal development training
☐ Role model highlighted
☒ Networking (women network, men network or mixed): every month a so-called Masterclass was organised throughout the country to reach as many women as possible
☐ Mentoring (unique or mixed gender, please specify)
☒ Coaching (ability to inspire and grow people/Foster emulation/ Being influential)
☐ Events (sharing with other companies) - please specify:
☐ Other - please specify:


☐ Online e-learning Module
☐ Online seminar
☒ Workshops
☐ Conference
☐ Self-Assessment tool
☐ Consolidated educational/training programme
☒ Other, please specify: Contacts with executive directors of participating sports associations. Regular meetings with co-ordinators of the participating sports organisations

Identified Key Success Factors

- Personal approach
- Acknowledge obstacles for young women umpires

Transferable bites/elements

- Workshops how to deal with factors of influence

Source of information: Interview + Press Article + Online documentation

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An initiative selected as a case study of the SWinG library of leadership development initiatives.  

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