Increasing sports participation in Scotland: are voluntary sports clubs the answer?

Fiona Reid

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    17 Citations (Scopus)


    A policy objective of the Scottish government is to increase sports participation
    as a means of increasing health and social inclusion. This paper assesses the
    potential contribution of sports clubs run by their members to these objectives
    through an analysis of the Scottish Opinion Survey results. These identify the
    percentage of sports participation that occurs in clubs; by sport, gender,
    deprivation level, and local authority. It also examines how volunteering in
    sport varies by these dimensions. This shows that participation in clubs is more
    important for particular sports. It is highest in the least deprived areas, highest
    for male participants, and for those over 55 years old, and varies considerably
    across local authorities. This leads to a discussion of the implications for sports
    policy. Three aspects are considered; the geographical dimension,
    demographics and target populations, and the nature of voluntary sports clubs.
    The differences across local authorities show that local policies are required.
    However, all of these require a more subtle understanding of the relationship
    between participation and club membership.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)221-241
    Number of pages21
    JournalInternational Journal of Sport Policy and Politics
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


    • sports club
    • Scotland
    • voluntary
    • exercise


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