Idan PtG

The financing of grassroots sport in Europe

In more than 15 years, there has been no follow-up on the most comprehensive studies on the financing of grassroots sport in Europe. The Danish Institute for Sports Studies and Play the Game are now inviting sports ministries across Europe to help fill the information gap.

In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, more focus has been given to enhancing physical activity and grassroot sport in Europe.

The debate has shown a great political determination to strengthen policies that can sustain and increase sports participation for all age groups in the European populations, especially children and the youth.

However, the discussion has also revealed gaps in our knowledge about how grassroot sport is financed across Europe, not only in terms of the amounts set aside for these activities, but also concerning the structures of public and private financing.

To fill the gaps, the Danish Institute for Sports Studies (Idan) and Play the Game are launching a new study following up on two studies from 1994 and 2008 by sports economist Wladimir Andreff from University of Paris-Sorbonne. The follow-up study will concentrate on grassroots sports and mass participation.

The study will gather a wide array of data and throw light on questions like:

  • How has the financing of grassroots sport and mass participation evolved over the past 30 years?
  • What are the major sources of income for associations, clubs, and other entrepreneurs at the grassroots sport level?
  • Which models are used across Europe to finance grassroots sport and mass participation?
  • What are the respective roles of national, regional, and local public authorities in sports financing?
  • What is the value of volunteer work in Europe?

Besides updating the 2008 study, the new study will focus specifically on financing mass participation activities. It will be based on a survey sent to all relevant ministries in the Council of Europe member states.

The project is organised and led by Play the Game and the Danish Institute for Sports Studies and is co-financed by an annual grant from the Danish government. The study is expected to be published in 2024.

Professor Wladimir Andreff has been consulted in the preparation phase of the new study. He will also advise on reporting the results when the data has been collected.

More information about the project:

Analyse- og forskningschef, ph.d.

Rasmus K. Storm

Sportsevents, eliteidræt, sportsøkonomi