Sport Associations

A statement ”Why get involved”

Changes in societal and individual needs and habits have moved health issues to the fore of personal and social-political agendas. Increased inactivity and poor nutritional habits have created new health problems while accelerating existing ones. However, in certain sections of the population there has been a welcome increase in awareness of the importance of maintaining good health for prevention of illnesses and quality of life. Unfortunately this trend is more associated with those from higher socio-economical backgrounds or circumstances. Evidence regarding such ‘health inequalities’ clearly indicates that those from the lower socio-economical backgrounds are restricted from equal access to optimal health due to their circumstances, many of which are beyond their control and are dictated at governmental and/or societal levels.

The capacity of regular physical activity and sport to support healthier life 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 is also becoming more recognised and celebrated. As sport organisations are major stakeholders for physical activity and sport they are becoming increasingly challenged to meet societal needs through more health-enhancing physical activities. This is evident 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 sport associations and their clubs are still predominantly focused on traditional models of performance and competition. Health promotion initiatives remain a relatively new concept. Sports organisations and clubs exist in a competitive environment with limited access to resources (both financial and personnel/volunteers). To support them in achieving their health-enhancing potential, the SCforH approach has been developed. It includes examples of health promotion policies and strategies that work in the sporting environment as well as examples of good practices taken from associations and clubs already engaging in the SCforH approach and initiatives.

Explore and develop the health-enhancing potential of your sport:

  • Plan towards SCforH implementation
  • Identify partnerships and resources
  • Grow competencies at association and club level
  • Provide SCforH initiatives.
  • Evaluate and review SCforH engagement
  • Communicate and promote SCforH approach.