The Austrian Sports Organization (Österreichischen Bundes-Sportorganisation, BSO) is a non-profit institution, which represents the interests of sports both in Austria and in international organizations. As the parent organization of more than 60 sports-related associations, 4 multi-branched organizations and 3 governing bodies, the BSO functions as a representative and parent organization of the interests of more than 3 million athletes and sports enthusiasts throughout Austria. The BSO unites a wide range of sports and is the point of contact for federal institutions of Austria and its’ individual states, as well as the service center for sports-related associations.
The BSO offers its members a wide range of service and consulting features. Guidelines and forms regarding invoicing of allocated, transferred funding are provided as well as personal consulting service by staff of the BSO. Additionally, the BSO offers various trainings and workshops for its members where the speakers are external specialists.
The BSO sports club management course is an Austria-wide education initiative that has graduated more than 1000 qualified participants since 2002. The program consists of experience-oriented education and training for sports-related officials, divided into a 3-part program – Basics, Sports Club Management 1 and 2. This program offers fundamental knowledge in the fields of marketing and management, planning, organization, rhetoric/personality coaching, law and finance, as well as the basics of training theory. The Sports Club Management 1 and 2 courses are led jointly with the federal sports academies as well as sports-related associations and governing bodies.
The BSO Trainer Education Program serves as an opportunity for further education Austrian trainers and presents the optimal platform of experts and data to address questions related to sports and training sciences. Throughout Austria, a program of regular events offers on-going instruction in sports science qualification, a comprehensive education of pedagogical abilities and the communication of professional management skills.
The BSO has special task forces dedicated to addressing social issues like equal rights for women in sports and the promotion of sports amongst youth, themes which are tackled in the form of presentations, publications and projects. The BSO is striving to give women a voice and achieve equal standing in the sporting community. The BSO is committed to getting more women and girls excited about sports trying to strengthen support for women involved in sports associations and organizations.
The BSO Sports Youth Program is a platform for young, sports enthusiasts to make a positive contribution to the sporting community. Through workshops, events, publications and projects kids and teens can learn about important themes and issues for youth in sports.
The BSO Cristall Gala, which takes place every year in November, is one of the highlights of the BSO’s social calendar. At this magical evening, people who dedicate themselves to and are engaged in sports voluntarily as well as sports clubs that work exemplarily are awarded. The voluntary work of thousands of officials throughout the sports community is really something to look up to. Through their dedication to helping others, their extraordinary competence and unparalleled enthusiasm, these individuals make up the body and soul of the sporting community. Every year, individuals and organizations are awarded the Sport Crystal, as representatives and ambassadors of the sports enthusiasts of Austria. All member organizations of the BSO and their respective associations have the right to nominate individuals or projects, which fulfill the criteria of respective award categories. Austria’s best trainer and best sports official (male, female), best sports club, the Girl-Power Award as well as the Sports Ambassador of the Year are crowned at the event.
Additionally, the BSO offers its members a number of informative lectures about various issues in sports and society. The BSO releases a wide variety of publications, like the yearly Sports Almanac or Ö-Sport magazine. Through media cooperation, the BSO also offers members access to platforms and resources among other advantages.
The main issues addressed by the BSO reflect many of the socio-political concerns of the today. One topic, which is of utmost interest to BSO, is the concept of social responsibility. The BSO wants to encourage awareness about current societal issues, like integration, protection of children and teens, especially in the field of sports, as well the ecologization of sports with regard to sustainability and to exploit sports as a multi-functional and useful social tool. Other areas of interest for the work of the BSO are the dialectic between business, media and the public at large as well as the continued promotion of volunteer work, without which organized sports as we know it would not be possible.