Switzerland: Autonomous Sports Clubs as Contributors to Public Welfare

Nagel, Siegfried; Stegmann, Pascal; Bürgi, Rahel; Lamprecht, Markus (2020). Switzerland: Autonomous Sports Clubs as Contributors to Public Welfare. In: Nagel, Siegfried; Elmose-Østerlund, Karsten; Ibsen, Bjarne; Scheerder, Jeroen (eds.) Functions of Sports Clubs in European Societies. A Cross-National Comparative Study. Sports Economics, Management and Policy: Vol. 13 (pp. 289-313). Cham: Springer International Publishing 10.1007/978-3-030-48535-1_12

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About 20% of the Swiss population practise sports in a club and the nearly 19,000 sports clubs are a core element of the Swiss sports landscape and can contribute to public welfare. Sports clubs are accredited with various socio-political functions, although there are no far-reaching sports policy programmes – except Youth and Sport. The results of this chapter demonstrate that sports clubs can promote public health, social integration, and democratic decision-making, particularly through voluntary work by the members. Sports club members usually practise sports regularly. Thus, sports clubs can con-tribute to individual as well as to public health, even though sports clubs frequent-ly have no specific focus on health promotion. There is considerable evidence that sports clubs are able to contribute to social integration, since they usually promote goals such as openness and conviviality and most members identify with their club and have social networks and friendships. The principle of bottom-up democratic decision-making ensures that the sports programmes fit the interests of the mem-bers. Therefore, sports clubs can promote democratic involvement and active citi-zenship. Particularly volunteering in sports clubs gives people the opportunity to engage for society and therefore can contribute to social cohesion and trust in Swiss society.

Item Type:

Book Section (Book Chapter)


07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Sport Science (ISPW)
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Sport Science (ISPW) > Sport Sociology and Management

UniBE Contributor:

Nagel, Siegfried and Stegmann, Pascal


700 Arts > 790 Sports, games & entertainment




Sports Economics, Management and Policy


Springer International Publishing




Edith Desideria Imthurn

Date Deposited:

24 Sep 2020 09:17

Last Modified:

24 Sep 2020 09:17

Publisher DOI:






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