The history of the Sports Club for Health movement in Europe

Pedisic, Zeljko ORCID: 0000-0003-2886-3556, Oja, Pekka, Savola, Jorma, Kokko, Sami, Hartmann, Herbert, Heimer, Stjepan, Koski, Pasi, Nykänen, Ulla, Livson, Matleena and Jurakić, Danijel ORCID: 0000-0002-4861-4066 (2022) The history of the Sports Club for Health movement in Europe. In: Sports Club for Health (SCforH) movement in the European Union. Pedisic, Z, ed. Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia, pp. 71-86.


The Sports Club for Health (SCforH) movement is the largest and one of the most comprehensive initiatives for the promotion of health-enhancing physical activity in European sports clubs. In this book chapter we systematically reviewed and catalogued the key activities, published outputs, and recognitions of the SCforH movement in the past 15 years. As a source of information, we used the SCforH-related publications identified in a systematic scoping review. The draft historical overview was then reviewed and approved by nine SCforH experts. Numerous activities have been carried out as part of the SCforH movement. Key contributions to the development of the SCforH movement have been made by 38 organisations from 18 countries that were partners in the three international SCforH projects funded by the Europe-an Union. The key milestones in terms of activities were the establishment of the HEPA Europe SCforH working group and successful realisation of three international, funded SCforH projects worth more than 1 million Euro. The SCforH guidelines and invitation to the SCforH online course were distributed to a total of 1,880 and 3,809 stakeholders in the sports sector from 36 European countries. A total of 47 SCforH events with more than 2,000 attendees, including 25 international meetings, 3 seminars, 11 workshops, 7 symposia, and 1 conference have been organised. Key published outputs of the SCforH movement are the three versions of SCforH guidelines, Electronic Toolkit for sports clubs and associations, SCforH online course, SCforH textbook, SCforH country cards, and the database of SCforH and other related initiatives. The Council of the European Union has recognised the importance of the SCforH movement and listed the implementation of SCforH guidelines as one of the 23 recommended indicators for evaluation of health-enhancing physical activity levels and policies in the European Union member states. The indicator has later been used by the European Union Physical Activity Focal Points Network, established by the European Commission and World Health Organization. The European Commission has recognised the SCforH 2015-17 project as a "success story" and example of good practice. The rich history of the SCforH movement described in this book chapter should encourage the stakeholders in the European sports sector to keep on supporting and promoting the use of SCforH guidelines among sports clubs and associations.

Item type Book Section
Edition 1st
Subjects Current > FOR (2020) Classification > 4206 Public health
Current > Division/Research > Institute for Health and Sport
Keywords public health, European Union, EU, health promotion, Sports Club for Health, SCforH, working group, project management
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