Subsidies for local sports clubs and sports associations

Since the main distribution in 2000, the Ministry of Culture has had a subsidy scheme aimed specifically at local clubs and associations that are involved in physical activity and sports for children and adolescents.

The scheme was established in response to the Norwegian parliament’s consideration of the white paper St.meld.nr. 27 (1996-1997) on the state’s relations with voluntary organisations and the supplementary white paper St. meld. nr. 44 (1997-1998).

The objective of the subsidy scheme is to promote activity and participation in membership-based associations that organise sporting and physical activity for children and young people. Funds are allocated to sports teams’ primary activities. A further aim is to support voluntary work in sports teams and help to keep the costs of participation in sports and physical activity down. The gender equality perspective and consideration for athletes with special needs (e.g. disabilities) must be taken into account in the distribution.

The Ministry of Culture has designed the subsidy scheme to minimise the administrative burden for recipients.

Sport councils are responsible for distributing funds to sport clubs in their respective municipalities. The size of the population aged 6-19 years in each municipality determines the size of the subsidy. The distribution must follow the Ministry's guidelines and address local needs. In addition, the Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Confederation of Sports (NIF) may make recommendations on the distribution.

Distribution to local clubs and associations

The sport councils distribute funds to teams in their respective municipalities. The distribution must follow the Ministry's guidelines (reproduced below) and address local needs.

Sport councils must ensure that the following distribution guidelines are followed: 

  1. Grants may only be given to teams that have sport or physical activity as their primary purpose and that organise sporting activities for children and/or adolescents.
  2. Subsidised teams must be independent and free-standing associations of exclusively personal members.
  3. All teams that meet the above requirements and are members of the Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee are entitled to subsidies. In addition, the sport councils must consider whether other organisations that meet the requirements in items 1) and 2) should be given subsidies.
  4. Funds must be used for activities for both children and adolescents. The sport councils must ensure that at least one-third of funds are allocated to each target group.
  5. Funds must be fully allocated and paid out to the teams. The funds may not be used for the administration of the scheme, or for activities organised by the sport councils.

The gender equality perspective and consideration for athletes with special needs (e.g. disabilities) must be taken into account in the distribution, as must the inclusion of children and adolescents who participate in organised sports to a limited extent.

Grants under the scheme may not be used as a foundation for profit-making forms of ownership, or be converted into profits for private owners.