Mainpage Sports

Sports in Finland

In Finland, sporting life is largely based on volunteer activities. Local authorities provide sports facilities. The Ministry's role is to create favourable conditions for sports and physical activity.

The Ministry leads, develops and coordinates sports policy and finances sports in order to promote health-enhancing, competitive and performance sports and related civic activities with a view to advancing well-being and health and supporting children's and young people's growth through sports.

The government co-finances sports provision, supporting the activities of 130 federations with some 30 million euros annually.

There are 7,800 sports clubs in Finland. Annually 350,000 children and young people and 500,000 adults use the services of sports clubs and federations. The most popular sports among adults are walking, including Nordic walking, and cycling. Children's and young people's favourite sport is football.

Organised competive sports

One in ten Finns takes part in organised competitive sports. Only few of them aim at the world top. There are between 2,000 and 4,000 athletes competing at the national level, of whom only 500-800 become world-class athletes.

The Ministry of Education and Culture guides sport policy

The Ministry of Education and Culture guides sport policy through legislation and financing. The Ministry also monitors the implementation of ethical principles in sports, notably anti-doping activities.

The Ministry's Department for Cultural, Sport and Youth Policy and its Sports Division direct, develop and coordinate sport policy, assisted by the National Sports Council. More about the work of the  Sports Division in the Ministry section.