Sports Clubs

SCforH is an expert-based approach that supports clubs as well as national and regional sport organisations to recognize the health potential of their sports disciplines and organize health-enhancing sports activities in the sports club setting.

What is Sports Club for Health (SCforH) approach?

The purpose of SCforH is to encourage sports clubs and national sport organizations to invest more in using the health potential of their particular sport. In practice, this primarily means promoting health-enhancing sports activities within sports clubs. Additional health benefits may be gained by offering health education and promoting health in the sports club setting, which is the focus of the Health Promoting Sports Club (HPSC) initiative15.

Achieving good health is a desirable goal of sports clubs members and society as a whole, regardless of the reasons an individual engages in sports. SCforH encourages sports clubs to review their own activities and sport discipline(s) in the light of their health potential and promote greater participation in health-enhancing sports activities.

The SCforH approach is based on the following ideas:

  • The SCforH approach is intended for use in all sports clubs. It can be implemented in any type of sports club, from the small, purely voluntary club to the large club staffed by paid professionals.
  • Clubs also differ in terms of their sporting aims and programmes. The SCforH approach can be applied in any kind of sports club, regardless of its aims and the sport disciplines offered.
  • According to the SCforH approach, health is defined broadly to encompass three main dimensions: physical, mental, and social. The aims of SCforH initiatives in sports clubs can be modified such that they place a focus on any or all of these dimensions of health.
  • The SCforH approach can be applied in practice as a philosophy that guides the way the sports club and/or its activities are run or the way a scheduled project or programme is conducted.
  • Rather than maintaining the SCforH as an independent initiative, the aim should be to ultimately integrate the SCforH approach into the club’s daily activities, such as coaching.
  • The SCforH approach has been designed to serve members of sports clubs and participants in all age groups: children, adolescents, adults, and seniors.

SCforH is a large international initiative supported by the European Commission, European network for the promotion of health-enhancing physical activity – HEPA Europe, European Non-Governmental Sports Organisation (ENGSO), European Federation for Company Sports (EFCS), International Sport and Culture Association (ISCA), and The Association for International Sport for All (TAFISA). More than 30 partner, associate, and supporting institutions from 12 European countries have been involved in two funded SCforH projects. SCforH has been mentioned more than 30 times in academic publications and 140 times in other published media. In 2016, 42% of the European national umbrella sport organisations and national Olympic committees, 54% of national sport-for-all organisations, and 20% of national sport organisations indicated that they were aware of the SCforH approach. Furthermore, there are almost a million sports clubs and more than 60 million sports club members in Europe. Recent findings from nine European countries ¹ have indicated that 37% of the sports clubs offer health-enhancing physical activity programmes, whilst 75% feel that their sport disciplines are suitable as health-enhancing physical activities. Overall, this shows that a great potential exists for the future implementation of the SCforH approach in sports clubs across Europe.

¹) The data was collected as part of the Social Inclusion and Volunteering in Sports Clubs in Europe (SIVSCE) project (Erasmus+ Collaborative Partnerships grant, reference number 556994-EPP-1-2014-1-DK-SPO-SCP).

SCforH is an expert-based approach that supports clubs as well as national and regional sport organisations to recognize the health potential of their sports disciplines and organize health-enhancing sports activities in the sports club setting.