The Situation of Chilean Sports Clubs. The Case of the Region of Biobío
This dissertation revolves around voluntary sports organizations, specifically the figure of sports club, which play an important role in fostering sport and physical activity by acting as a stimulus for democratic practices and personal and collective development, among other functions.The question underlying the project was: What are the situation and the characteristics of Chilean sports clubs?Theoretically, a four-dimensional model was designed that examined clubs from an external to an internal perspective, and from general to specific. To structure this model, Third Sector, Institutional Choice and stakeholder theory were drawn from, along with the legal and administrative framework and the constitutive features of the clubs.The study was descriptive, exploratory and transversal. An in-person survey was administered to the president of the clubs using a questionnaire based on one that was developed in Catalonia, but with the adaptations needed to reflect the reality in Chile. The sample was probabilistic, random, stratified, with proportional affixation, and it was comprised of 150 clubs in the Region of Biobío in Chile. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the data, and conglomerate analysis was used to generate the typology of the clubs.The most important results include the determination that most of the clubs emerged when Chilean society was better prepared for them to be established and developed. In terms of their characteristics, the following was determined: there was a low level of professionalization and little specialization; they embodied the fundamental democratic participation processes; there was low female participation in all areas; the majority of the clubs had a small structure of people; they had a limited range of main sports but a diverse range of alternate activities; volunteer work was present in the majority of clubs, but the level was low in relation to their size; there was a scant presence of professionals and paid staff; and they had low budgets and depended heavily on public resources, revealing a strong relationship with the state. The results show that Chilean clubs are in a stage of incipient associationism or in development, adapting to the demands of the sports system and demonstrating a wide variety according to the characteristics analyzed. The above information enables us to state that there is no “single” kind of club.