This book takes a closer look at the societal functions of sports clubs by using the broad range of empirical data of a comparative study. There is a limited amount of up-to-date knowledge on the functions of sports clubs and their potential to promote public health, social cohesion and democratic participation through volunteering and thus contribute to public welfare in European societies. Most of the existing studies are country-specific and therefore do not allow for making comparisons from a cross-national perspective. In light of this, the project 'Social Inclusion and Volunteering in Sports Clubs in Europe' (SIVSCE) collected, analysed and discussed comparable data and knowledge across ten European countries and disseminated this knowledge to politicians, sports professionals and sports volunteers in Europe.
The SIVSCE project contains comparative data of clubs as well as of members in selected sports clubs. In each country chapter, the comparative data from the SIVSCE project is put together in a coherent way. Particularly, the data of the member survey give in-depth information about the fulfillment of the different functions of sports clubs (e. g. extension of democratic participation, social integration). Providing in-depth data related to policy issues, structure and management of clubs and individual member surveys, this book will be useful for students¿particularly those in sports management programmes¿as well as researchers and practitioners in social science and economics.