From bocce to soccer, horse-racing to cycling, swimming to skating, what sport cannot be practiced in Alkmaar? The town likes to position itself as a city of sports. Alkmaar’s four-day walking event has become a by-word. Running contests on the eve of Ascension Day have a reputation. It is understandable that Alkmaar wants to keep facilities at the present high level. The new sports paradise De Meent on the western ringroad bears witness to this. Alkmaar as a city of sports has been put on the map quite solidly over the past few decades by AZ’s successes. National championship for both men and women, victories in the Cup and especially their success in European competitions have made Alkmaar a household name well beyond its borders. Building a new stadium has not been a smooth ride. It was hard to say goodbye to the snug little ground in the Hout. But since 2006 the new ground has played host to thousands of supporters, once every fortnight, supporters who have placed it into their hearts. Great sportsmen complete the image of a city of sports. Famous cyclists like Steven de Jongh, Theo Bos and Harm Ottenbros hail from Alkmaar, the skaters Jakko Jan Leeuwangh and Koen Verwey do too, as does Maarten van der Weijden, long-distance swimmer. Participating in sports and exercising cannot be stimulated enough for the health of a population. In a fine natural environment such as Alkmaar has, close to the beach and the dunes, with glorious cycling and walking options in the hinterland that must remain a pleasant challenge.