Exploring Pan-European Similarities and Differences in Club-Organised Sports: A Cross-National and Cross-Temporal Comparison

Jeroen E. Scheerder, Kobe Helsen, Karsten Elmose-Østerlund, Siegfried Nagel

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When it comes to scientific research in sports, most European countries conduct country-specific investigation programmes for which mostly non-harmonised standards are applied. As a consequence, reliable, pan-European data of organisational and participatory aspects of (club-organised) sports, both cross-nationally and cross-temporally, are lacking. The present chapter tries to overcome this gap by using available data of three waves of the harmonised Eurobarometer survey. More precisely, we aim to investigate (1) active participation in (club-organised) sports; (2) health-related club-organised participation; (3) social integration in clubs; and (4) volunteering in club-organised sports. On all these aspects, regional differences within Europe as well as differences between social groups are examined. Results demonstrate that club-organised sports participation declined in all regions among almost all social strata. In general, underrepresented groups (women, elderly and lower educated), who live in Northern Europe, seem to enjoy better opportunities to participate in club-organised sports. In addition, clubs seem to be a good environment to promote social integration. The results presented in this chapter indicate that harmonised instruments such as the Eurobarometer are indispensable for cross-national and cross-temporal comparisons. In addition, these surveys facilitate the preparation and implementation of evidence-based sports policy programmes at the European level.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFunctions of Sports Clubs in European Societies : A Cross-National Comparative Study
EditorsSiegfried Nagel, Karsten Elmose-Østerlund, Bjarne Ibsen, Jeroen Scheerder
Publication dateAug 2020
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-48534-4
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-48535-1
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020
SeriesSports Economics, Management and Policy

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