Structural Change in the Voluntary Help for Refugees in Sports Clubs

This project is organized within the research intervention cluster „Shifting Solidarities“, which is funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Migration, Refugees and Integration and the Federal Chancellery.

Calculations on the basis of the Sports Development Report of 2015 and 2016 assume that already in autumn 2015 almost one third of the 91.000 sports clubs in Germany were engaged in the help for refugees. One in five clubs has taken own measures to increase the participation of refugees. These data show not only, that the organized popular sports reacted immediately on changing expectations. In view of the low rate of professionalization in popular sports it is expected that those attainments were also mainly achieved by the voluntary work of club members. Although popular sport is still the sphere of activity with the highest voluntary commitment, the number of volunteers is decreasing.

Against this background it is to be clarified in what way and by which strategies sports clubs generate the needed time and knowledge donations of their members to cope with the tasks of the work with refugees. The main thesis is that they use experimental and creative ways and try unconventional strategies to attract new volunteers. Those new strategies will also be conducive for the general search of members in the field of popular sports. The findings in this research project can therefore contribute to the foundation of concepts on “engagement management” in sports clubs.


04/2016 - 12/2016


Prof. Dr. Sebastian Braun

Prof. Dr. Sebastian Braun

Head of the Department "Integration, Sport and Football"; Professor of Sport Sociology at the Humboldt University of Berlin

Fon: +49 (0)30 2093-46022
Fax: +49 (0)30 2093-46110