Sport for immigrants: tool of integration?

Klaus Heinemann

Original Language

Cite this article

Heinemann, K. (2002). Sport for immigrants: tool of integration?. Apunts. Educación Física y Deportes, 68, 24-35.



Since the end of the seventies in Germany, sport had been put forward as an almost ideal possibility to favour the integration of immigrants. This was the motive for which diverse associations and sports clubs planned a series of sporting projects for different groups of immigrants. However, we lack valid, empirical studies compatible among themselves which demonstrate the practical result of these projects.
The article begins by answering two questions: the first asks if the situation in Germany can be compared to Spain. The second refers to the specific possibilities of the values attributed to sport. After, the concept of integration itself is questioned. We can distinguish five dimensions: a legal integration, a structural functional integration, familiarisation with cultural techniques, cultural integration and identity integration. It has been shown that sport can only contribute to cultural and identity integration. Finally some proposals are presented on how to organise and popularise sport so that immigrants feel motivated for this activity.

Keywords: Germany, Inmigration, Social Integration and Segregation, Sport, Types of Integration, Welfare Policies.

ISSN: 2014-0983

Published: April 01, 2002