24 Structure and development of sports clubs in Germany Sports clubs in Germany More than just exercise Strong commitment to the community and democratic participation If the sports clubs in Germany are asked about their self concep tion i e what is most important to them in their club it becomes clear that the clubs attach particular importance to community and democratic participation in the club 94 of the clubs strongly or somewhat agree with the community idea while almost 90 state that they attach very strong importance to democracy In addi tion almost 80 of the clubs attach importance to the qualifica tion of their coaches and trainers and almost 90 state that they want to improve on what they have done so far This illustrates the high quality orientation of the clubs cf Fig 4 The commitment to children s and youth sports is also quite high About three quarters of the sports clubs agree that they are involved in this area while the involvement in sports for senior cit izens girls and women is on average somewhat less pronounced even though more than half of the clubs still state that they are strongly involved in these areas cf Fig 4 and Fig 5 A high level of involvement in children s and youth sport is probably related to the likewise very high degree of organisation of this age group in sports clubs According to the 2017 DOSB annual survey7 about 80 of the 7 to 14 year old male population in Ger many are members of a sports club as are around 61 of girls in the same age group However the degree of organisation decreases con siderably in young and middle adulthood and is least pronounced in the age group over 60 27 3 for men and 15 1 for women In view of demographic change in this case the increasing number of older people in the population there is potential for clubs to gain new members especially in the age group over 60 and to expand their involvement in senior citizens sport 7 See DOSB 2017 Annual Survey 2017 Frankfurt Main German Olympic Sports Confederation

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