The sport policy of the Federal Government
Federal sport policy is oriented on the constitutional division of responsibilities between the federal and state governments. While the states (Länder) are responsible for promoting mass sport, promoting high-performance sport is a federal responsibility.
As part of its national responsibility for sport, however, the Federal Government also feels obligated to further enhance the framework conditions for the appropriate development of mass sport, not only because sport for the general population is an important source of elite athletes, but also because mass sport can help promote social cohesion.
Sport policy, that is, policy on behalf of sport and those who are active in sport, thus constitutes an ambitious, multi-faceted programme which touches on a variety of points. The basic principles of the Federal Government’s sport policy are the autonomy of sport, subsidiarity of sport funding, and cooperation with sport organizations.
The Federal Government maintains a trusting and fair partnership with organized sport, which represents the interests of approximately 90,000 clubs and 27 million individual members autonomously and on its own responsibility. And sport is an important leisure activity for millions more. Sport also brings people together from all walks of life, whether native Germans or guests in our country.
The prominent socio-political role of sport therefore justifies appropriate public funding for sport, which is crucial for advancing both mass and high-performance sport. Top athletes are role models. Success in sport is the result of hard work and commitment – things that our whole society depends on. And top athletes who are successful also motivate many young people to take part in sports as well.
Athletes who use drugs to improve their sport performance are unethical and violate the principle of fairness, distort competition and discourage young people from taking up sports. Any sport corrupted by doping would immediately lose its public funding. Rigorous, effective anti-doping measures are first of all the responsibility of the sport, which has unquestioned autonomy also in this area. But the state also recognizes its responsibility by doing everything in its power to support sport organizations’ own anti-doping efforts.
The Federal Government has consistently increased its funding for high-performance sport for people with disabilities, who deserve the greatest respect for their achievements.
Germany is a world leader when it comes to sport. It also shares its sport policy experience at the international level, thereby providing an important contribution to the development of sport in Europe and around the world.