What is sports?

Sports for all bodiesRFSL

Sports is Sweden's biggest grassroots movement and 90 percent of all children and youth have at some point been members of a sports organisation. It builds on non-profit engagement and has 3,1 million members.

This text is aimed mainly at you who are active in the LGBTQ movement and want to start working with issues to do about organised sports.

The Swedish sports movement has over 3,1 million members, about 650 000 volunteering leaders and about 20 000 organisations. 71 specialist sports organisations organise more than 250 different sports.

“3,1 million members, 650 000 volunteering leaders and 20 000 organisations.”

Most leaders within the sports movement work without pay and about two thirds (65 percent) of all kids between 6 and 12 train and compete in at least one sport. Close to 90 percent of all children and youth in Sweden have at some point been involved in a sports organisation.  

The sports movement is a popular movement where you engage in independent organisations and pay a membership fee. That, for example, makes Riksidrottsförbundet a non-profit organisation.

The organisations are organised in so called specialist sports organisations, mainly divided in categories based on the respective sports.

Some organisations, so called multi-sport organisations, have particular target groups. Some examples of that are Skolidrottsförbundet, Sveriges Akademiska Idrottsförbund and Korpen Svenska Motionsidrottsförbundet.

Riksidrottsförbundet is the sports movement’s main organisation. The specialist organisations are members of Riksidrottsförbundet.

Riksidrottsförbundet (RF) organises sports based on age and level of ambition.

Children’s sports means sports for children up to 12 years of age, youth sports means sports for teenagers and young adults between 13-25, and adult sports means sports for people over 25.

Sports’ basic values are joy and community, democracy and participation, everybody’s right to partake and fair play.

In youth sports and adult sports there’s amateur sports and professional sports. In professional sports, improvement and good results at competitions are guiding. In amateur sports health and well-being are normative.


For you who want to get involved there’s a facebook group where you can get tips and exchange ideas.

Read about sports at rfsl.se.