Effects of the coronavirus pandemic on Finnish higher education sports
In the late spring of 2020, the National Sports Council commissioned a report on the situation in the sports sector. The report completely forgot the Finnish higher education sports services. On the basis of the National Sports Council’s questionnaires, the Finnish Student Sports Federation (OLL) carried out its own survey for those working in higher education sports.
In the survey, the effets of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic are noticeable. No higher education sports service provider operated normally during the spring’s restrictions. Up to 45% of their activities came to a complete standstill. The rest of the higher education sports services applied various methods to keep the operations running, at least in part.
In addition to remote work, the operations were adjusted through temporary lay-offs and other time-off arrangements. Up to 10% suspended their operations because of these adjustments. If the tightened COVID-19 restrictions are reintroduced, 15% estimates that this would require making more difficult economic adjustments. One in ten respondents estimates that their economy is in danger of becoming too critical for continued operations.
In the survey, more than half of the respondents anticipate how the current restrictions and the possible tightened restrictions affect higher education sports. The results reveal a strong fear of reduced operating budgets in the future and an increase in students’ user fees. The reasons for this include the losses caused by the cancelled events this spring and autumn.
Another concern is the importance of higher education sports as part of the higher education culture. Although half of the respondents believe that remote sports instruction and exercise videos can reach new students, they feel that physical activity has become less important as part of the higher education culture. The communality of sports services would no longer support social well-being.
A positive effect is that higher education sports has shown its adaptability, for example as a producer of various digital services. However, developing digitalisation requires new skills, training and investments in technical solutions. This requires money that the respondents would like to have as direct support for higher education sport service providers and as higher education institutions' own investments in services, for example by rewarding staff with gift cards to higher education sports services. In addition to financial support, the respondents hope that higher education communities communicate on the safety of higher education sports services in a good spirit of cooperation.
You may also be interested in
Liisa Reinola: University students – an easily forgotten group of usersPublished:
Children and young people’s physical exercise is often discussed, and equal opportunities for them to be active: how certain sports are expensive, but how physical exercise is important for personal development, social relationships and even health. Once this case is somehow fixed, the discussion jumps ahead many decades and focuses on exercise opportunities for the elderly. It is a well-known fact that physical exercise does play a key role in supporting their health and ability to function. So, the opportunity for safe gym training, jogging paths close to home, and guided sports groups for seniors by the city sports services must be provided.
Ruotsinkielinen seminaari Liikkuva Korkeakoulusta 27.11.2020Published:
Finlands Svenska Idrotts järjesti Liikkuva opiskelu -aiheisen seminaarin ruotsiksi 27.11.2020. Seminaariin osallistui Opiskelijoiden Liikuntaliiton puolesta vuoden 2020 varapuheenjohtaja Sanna-Maria Ahl. Hän piti siellä esityksen opettajien merkityksesta osana opiskelijoiden matalankynnyksen liikkumista.
Time to put an end to issues in student wellbeing - The Finnish Student Sports Federation demands actions for university sportsPublished:
The increase of poor wellbeing among university students is common knowledge, but attempts to take on the issue have remained lukewarm. At the next parliamentary election it is time to focus on university students’ wellbeing and physical activity, the Finnish Student Sports Federation (OLL) demands at their General Assembly, held in Vuokatti on the 2nd and 3rd November.
Share this page
Page last updated 20.10.2020