As the sports movement is facing turbulent times due to the ongoing threat of COVID-19, the need for sport clubs to find new innovative ways to run their activities has never been more urgent. The CHAMP project, funded from the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union, aims at giving the sports movement innovative tools and education for modernisation, and offers fresh insights on current trends and solutions for the promotion of physical activity. CHAMP (Clubs for Health-enhancement, Activation, Modernisation and Participation) is led by ENGSO, the European Sports NGO, in 2019–2021.
The first outcome of CHAMP, a research review regarding innovation and modernisation sport, has now been published.
The report, led by the International Council of Sport Science and Physical Education (ICSSPE), clarifies the connections between a modernised sport movement and increased physical activity. The report provides a solid background to the rest of the project by articulating some of the key terms and ideas related to sport and innovation, and aims at promoting the common understanding of these key concepts. The report also provides relevant information about the nature, organisation and number of sport clubs in Europe.
Later on, the research findings will be publicised through a publicly available online course, offering inspiration and shedding light on new and innovative practices that help clubs increase their membership and thus promote participation in sport. The CHAMP online course will be launched during the European Sport Platform, to be organised on 13–14 November 2020 in Vilnius, Lithuania.
The picture regarding the development of sport clubs is mixed. Europe has a strong tradition of sport clubs, with some countries still maintaining large levels of membership. However, there is a growing competition from other sectors, both inside of the larger physical activity sector as well as activities outside of it. In order to stay in the game, sport clubs need to adapt and to adopt new ways of thinking and operating. It’s necessary to do so in order to keep their status as integral feature of the European sporting landscape.
The big question is, how can sport clubs adopt and adapt to new ways of operating?
According to early findings of the next project outputs – a collection of good practices from within and outside the field of sport – the answer lies in getting to know the challenges that sport clubs are facing. The findings also indicate that it’s necessary to make innovative practices relatable for sport clubs. Innovation, such as new initiatives or activities, can be integrated at all levels in a sport club. It can mean hands-on solutions that helps the club to renew their offer, without taking too much time and resources.
Information regarding the next CHAMP publications and the online course will be published on the CHAMP social media channels.