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Sport gives both adults and children the opportunity to exercise, to challenge themselves or each other and to have fun. Being a member of a sports club provides opportunities to quickly find new friends and be part of a community. This gives children and teenagers a good start in life.This information explains how sport activities work in Sweden and how you and your children can easily get involved in the sports community. Open to all There are approximately 20,000 sports clubs in Sweden. A sports club is open to anyone who wants to become a member and it is a place where you can share experiences, joy and fellowship with others. To form and be a member of an association is a right protected by the Swedish constitution. Many people feel joy and pride in their membership, but it is not some thing that you have to state or tell anyone else. Those who want to become a member of a sports club are sometimes asked to provide their personal identity number. This is needed for insurances, competition license and grants and is not used in any other context than sports. Neither the state nor any municipality is in command of the sports associations. They constitute the largest social movement in Sweden and are run by their members. Club life is non-profit-based Most sports associations are operated by volunteers, i.e. people who work for the club without compensation in money terms, one or more times a week and most often in the evening. These people can be parents of children who play sports in the association, but it can also be others, who are involved because of their passion for the sport and the association. No club can manage with the efforts of only a few people; they depend instead on all members, par ents, other adults and young people helping out from time to time, to the best of their ability. Motivating leaders Good sport is based on the existence of leaders and coaches who instruct, motivate and support the young athletes. They are also important role models. They have a big responsibility and devote some of their spare time to their own and other people’s children and teenagers. Sports are important In Sweden, there is a strong sentiment that sports clubs are important. Therefore, most of them receive contributions from their municipality and from the state. Often, the contributions are not enough to cover all the costs of training sessions, training of leaders, equipment, competitions, trips etc. The members therefore have the possibility to raise more money by selling raffle tickets, coffee, sandwiches and similar items, but also by charging various participation fees and the annual membership fee. Members rule Non-profit associations are democratic. At least once a year, the association has an annual meeting where the members, i.e. those who have paid the membership fee, joint ly discuss and decide what activities the association will be engaged in and how the money will be used. All the members have a vote each at the annual meeting. As a member, you can also select which persons to include in the club board The board is then responsible for the management of the club until the next annual meeting. The board also ensures that the club adheres to its regulations, which are the members common rules for the club. Sport creates community Everyone is welcome in a sports club. It does not matter if you are a boy or a girl, what country you come from, if you are religious or not or what your professional background is or where you live. In the sports club, it is first of all their interest and desire to create something together that brings people together. Moreover, the language of sport is international: a ball bounces just as well in Swedish as in Serbian, you can long jump just as far in Swahili as in Swedish. Sport concerns many people and provides a common topic to talk about. Sweden has a rich variety of sports clubs In Sweden, there are associations that are over a hundred years old, others are recently formed. Regard less of age, they offer a wide variety of sports. There are individual sports or team sports and different sports during the summer and winter. The options are many depending on what your child likes, for example, endurance, stamina, concentration or strength. Many clubs allow beginners to try the sport to see if they like it, and to experience the environment of the club, before they charge any fees. So let your children try some of the sports that your area has to offer.
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