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Sport and social capital in the European Union

Final Activity Report Summary - SC-SPORT-EX (Sport and social capital in the European Union)

A major aim of this research was to illuminate synergies and opportunities for intra- and inter-organisational, as well as international and interdisciplinary dialogues on sport governance and social capital in the European Union. This project achieved two levels of impact.

At the European level, the findings now feed into debates around the role of the sport governance within Member States and the European Union. This relates not only to political discussion, but also to practical policy development around the relationships between sport governing bodies (SGBs) and European citizens.

Based on intensive ethnographic multi-sited fieldwork on the governance of sport in our four case study countries (the Czech Republic, Denmark, Italy, and France) and across three sports (handball, sailing, and amateur football) the results of the project provide much-needed evidence for understanding how SGBs (all non-profit organisations) communicate with their constituents, particularly highlighting possible problems, solutions, and methods for measuring the social capital generated by these organisations.

We conclude that social capital is in fact an essential mechanism for the delivery of services by sport governing bodies and in the implementation of sport policy.