CERN Accelerating science


Subsidized by the Staff Association and CERN administration, the clubs offer sports, leisure and cultural activities, thus enhancing non-professional relations between CERN staff members and facilitating integration of them and their families into the local area.

CERN staff can find in the list of clubs the activity they wish to carry out: their favourite sport or a leisure or cultural activity.

New clubs, whose activities are not covered by existing clubs, can be created on the initiative of a group of staff members. The President of the Clubs Coordinating Committee (CCC) will be pleased to guide them in setting up a new club.


Clubs Coordinating Committee

The CERN clubs are run under the supervision of the Staff Association through the Clubs Coordinating Committee (CCC). The Committee is composed of persons acquainted with the running of a club. They are elected by the Clubs’ Presidents.

The CCC, whose President and Staff Association representatives are appointed by the Staff Council, is
responsible for:

  • liaising between the clubs and Staff Council,
  • sharing out between the clubs the subsidies granted by the Staff Association and the Organization,
  • checking the clubs’ activities (examining their operating accounts and annual balance sheets),
  • satisfying their needs (premises, etc.) as far as possible.

As the clubs are self-financed and run by their members, in conformity with Swiss or French law, the role of the CC is limited to checking that all clubs have a proper structure and book-keeping system.

The popularity of the CERN clubs is proof of their importance. The absence of an official CERN policy is in stark contrast to the situation in universities in most Member States, where clubs and sports facilities are made available to students and teachers. Similarly, through legal obligation or a gentleman’s agreement, some companies allocate financial support to clubs set up by their employees.

Scientists, engineers and technicians who come to work at CERN for their universities or as CERN staff members regret the lack of infrastructure, in particular for sports activities. Without individual effort and initiative, the survival of the clubs could be compromised due to a lack of premises and financial means. The financial contribution by the CERN Administration and the Staff Association, which is modest compared to what is done in companies – 30 kCHF/year each – is of vital importance, particularly for smaller clubs and for the setting up of specific projects.

Some CERN inside courts and fields have been adapted to the needs of different clubs (football, cricket, croquet, softball and rugby), however their upkeep is a burden on the clubs’ budget. Premises and shower facilities are a recurrent problem: two large clubs have financed their own facilities on the site, however others depend on the goodwill of the CERN authorities and are often moved elsewhere without warning. Some clubs have had to stop their activities because of a lack of suitable premises.

The Staff Association and the CERN Administration are aware of these difficulties and the important role of the clubs for the image of CERN and the well-being of its staff. They are attempting to establish a policy which will help clubs carry out their role. In this context, the efforts of the CERN Administration and PH Department (which puts offices at the disposal of scientific visitors) to rehouse many clubs are commendable.