To stimulate physical activity and guide primary care patients towards local sport facilities, Care Sport Connectors (CSC), to whom a broker role has been ascribed, were introduced in 2012 in the Netherlands. The aim of this study was to explore CSCs’ role in connecting the primary care sector and the PA sector.


Fifteen CSCs were selected to participate in this study and were followed in their work of connecting both sectors. Over the course of one year, three rounds of interviews were held with these CSCs on the topics of their role and the connection between the primary care and the PA sector. Both top-down and bottom-up codes were used to analyse the interviews.


CSCs fulfilled three roles: 1) broker, 2) referral, 3) organiser. The extent to which CSCs fulfilled these roles was influenced by the way municipalities implemented the CSC funding. CSCs set up two forms of collaboration structures: 1) project basis and 2) referral scheme. CSCs perceived the following barriers to connecting the primary care and the PA sector: lack of knowledge and time, primary care professionals’ own interests, and lack of suitable sport activities for the target group.


The CSC role seems to hold the promise of improving collaboration between the primary care and the PA sector, especially, because the roles that CSCs perceive themselves as having seem to be directed at eliminating barriers in this connection. Future research is needed to study whether CSCs are capable of establishing a connection over time.

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