in the USSR, voluntary public associations of working people and students, organized for the development of physical culture, sports, and hiking.
In 1975 there were seven all-Union sports societies in the USSR: Burevestnik, Vodnik, Dynamo, Zenit, Lokomotiv, Spartak, and Trudovye Rezervy. There are also 30 republic voluntary sports societies, of which 15 are composed of physical-culture groups at industrial enterprises and other establishments; the largest of these are Trud in the RSFSR and Avangard in the Ukrainian SSR. The other 15 are rural societies, the largest being Urozhai in the RSFSR and Kolos in the Ukrainian SSR. In addition, thirty-two societies are affiliated with trade unions.
In the All-Union Voluntary Society to Aid the Army, Air Force, and Navy, work in physical culture and sports is conducted by engineering-related sports clubs. Army sports clubs, the largest of which is the Central Sports Club of the Army, perform the same functions in the armed forces. In other socialist countries, functions similar to those of Soviet sports societies are performed by such sports clubs as Vasas in Hungary, Gornik in Poland, Sparta in Czechoslovakia, Vorwärts in the German Democratic Republic, Partizan in Yugoslavia, and Rapid in Rumania. The capitalist countries have various amateur and professional sports clubs.