Exploit the potential benefits of the SCforH approach for your association and member clubs
- Respond to the member clubs’ needs at the grassroots level.
- Gain a greater market share of customers.
- Access new/additional capital and sources of staff funding.
- Meet societal needs, counteracting sedentary lifestyles and obesity, improving mental health, etc.
- Access new cross-sectoral alliances and partnerships.
- Support government initiatives that promote sports to address the health of the population.
- Support the club’s core business.
- Improve members’ health.
- Increase the membership base and satisfaction levels of the existing members.
- Prolong member engagement after their initial participation.
- Strengthen the club’s social capital and role.
- Provide engagement opportunities across entire lifespan of the members.
- Healthier athletes mean a better-performing club.
Testimony: Eerika Laalo-Haikio (Fin. Swimming Association) explains the benefits from SCforH approach for her association
GAA President Aogán Ó Fearghaí explains the benefits from SCforH approach for his association
Changes in the societal and individual needs and habits have moved health issues to the fore of personal and socio-political agendas. Increased inactivity and poor nutritional habits have created new health problems while worsening the existing ones. However, in certain parts of the population, we have seen a welcome increase in awareness of the importance of maintaining good health to prevent illnesses and improve quality of life. Unfortunately, this trend is more strongly associated with those from higher socio-economic backgrounds or in better socio-economic circumstances. Evidence on such ‘health inequalities’ clearly indicates that people with lower socio-economic status do not receive equal access to optimal health due to their circumstances, many of which are beyond their control and are dictated at the governmental and/or societal levels.
The importance of regularly engaging in physical activity and sports to support a healthier lifestyle and achieve better outcomes while reducing the risk of many chronic deceases is now firmly supported by empirical evidence. The social health benefits accrued from engaging in a sports club are also being more frequently recognised and celebrated. As sports organisations are major stakeholders in the promotion of physical activity and sports, they are being challenged with increasing frequency to meet societal needs by offering more health-enhancing physical activities. This is clearly stated in the current EU Physical Activity Guidelines:
“Sport organisations contribute to the social well-being of communities and can ease pressure on the public budget. Through their versatility and cost effectiveness, clubs can help meet the need of the population for physical activity.”
However, most sports associations and their member clubs still predominantly use traditional models of operation, focused on performance and competition. Health promotion initiatives within sports associations and sports clubs are still considered a relatively new concept. Sports associations and sports clubs operate within a competitive environment and often have only limited access to resources (in terms of both finances and personnel/volunteers). The SCforH approach has been developed to help them achieve their full health-enhancing potential. This approach includes examples of health-promotion policies and strategies that work effectively in the sporting environment, as well as examples of good practices taken from associations and clubs that are already operating in accordance with the SCforH principles.