Sustainable Sport

What is sustainable development?

Sustainable development meets the needs of the present-day generation without jeopardising the opportunities future generations should have to meet their own needs and choose their own lifestyle.

Sports clubs have a bearing on all dimensions of sustainable development. The manner in which a club organises and carries out its activities makes a big difference and is of major relevance: Transfers to and from scheduled practice sessions and competitions constitute a key sustainability indicator, just like the handling of waste (especially during competitions), the sourcing and production of sports equipment, etc.

But topics like health and nutrition, regional economic aspects, accessibility, gender sensitivity, non-violence, and lots more are all key for sustainable development.

Hands-on sustainability indicators were developed and/or improved in the Sustainable Sport project with the assistance of relevant stakeholders. Local sports clubs have the possibility of working out for themselves how forward-looking and sustainable they are in their activities. A self-assessment for sustainability performance provides a full picture of all essential activities that are of relevance to sustainability and identifies strengths and weaknesses. On the strength of these findings, activities can be developed to achieve improvements. At the same time, such a self-assessment can be used to put sustainability performance on the agenda – in the club and in the club’s communication. Especially for young sportsmen and sportswomen, studying sustainable development adds extra value to their personal education.

However, sports clubs are not directly responsible for all facets. Sports clubs may have little or no say in the selection of a site, or in the planning and building of sports centres and/or sports facilities. However, for the purpose of ensuring sustainable and participatory planning for such facilities, it would be wise to seek input from the sports clubs that intend to use these facilities later on.

A sports club that is moving on towards sustainability signals openness and a sense of confidence in itself, its members and the future. This sense of confidence can serve as a motivator, especially for young people, to get involved and contribute actively to the club’s activities but also in competitions with other sportsmen and sportswomen. This additional incentive can help to create a friendly climate in the sports club and, hereby, contribute to the club’s sporting success.