Sports and preventative health promotion as a strategic focus for the municipality 

Municipal elections are important for the sports sector. Municipal funding strongly guides the provision and accessibility of sports services, and members of sports decision-making bodies in particular play an important role. People are getting older and their ability to work is deteriorating; now it is important to focus on maintaining working ability and preventive activities. Physical exercise is the solution, and it is exactly these things that are decided by the municipalities!

Organising sports activities is the responsibility of municipalities: Act on the Promotion of Sports and Physical Activity § 5

Responsibility for creating opportunities and facilities for engagement in physical activities at the local level rests with the local authorities. Local government shall provide opportunities and facilities for physical activity by:

  1. providing physical exercise services and organising physical activities that promote general health and well-being with due regard to the various target groups;
  2. supporting civic action including club activities; and
  3. constructing and maintaining facilities for physical activity.

Of the financing of physical exercise, state contributions and subsidies cover about 3.3% and operating income (rents and customer fees) about 20.7%, with the remaining approximately 75% other income (mainly tax revenue). The average cost was EUR 109 / inhabitant in 2018. These percentages do not include investments in the construction of sports facilities ( Association of Finnish Municipalities, 2020 ).

A nationwide assessment of the municipal regional resourcing of physical exercise services is available from the Patio service of the Regional State Administrative Agencies.

Municipal elections and municipal influence have been discussed in OLL's webinar. In SAMOK's webinar, the theme is running for office and influencing those authorised by SYL. You can request SAMOK's and SYL's webinar links from OLL’s Senior Special Advisor for University Sport Jussi Ansala.

Important election dates:

  • submission of candidate applications: 9 March 2021
  • confirmation of the nomination (candidate numbers): 18 March 2021
  • domestic early voting: 7 April – 13 April 2021, abroad: 7 April – 10 April 2021
  • election day: 18 April 2021
  • confirmation of results: 21 April 2021
  • the councils will begin their work on 1 June 2021