Skip to main content


The capital of sport, Jyväskylä, is building an international co-operation network with Umeå and Tartu, as well as the regional sports clubs, with the aim of supporting young people's physical activity in the target areas. The pilot project, funded by the European Union and coordinated by the City of Jyväskylä, will start in January 2021.
Poika ja mies liikkumassa Kangaslammen parkourpuistossa. Image Hanna-Kaisa Hämäläinen

The project identifies best practices in the provision of sports and well-being services and exchanges experiences, especially from the perspective of the overall well-being of young people. The aim is also to develop cooperation models between cities and sports clubs.

- In the cooperation project, Jyväskylä can offer its expertise in the design of participatory local sports venues and school yards as environments that activate physical activity, and, in general, in creating a low threshold programme for the local sports venues. Move measurements of children and early adolescents and the multi-professional utilization of the results, as well as models of free exercise and sports counseling for children and young people, have also aroused interest, lists Jon Salminen, the coordinator of the capital of sports, of some of Jyväskylä's possible export products.

The aim of the partnership project is to exchange best practices 

- We expect to hear about combining urban and sports planning in other cities, developing low-threshold sports opportunities and, of course, having tips for increasing the physical activity and well-being of children and young people, Salminen lists his expectations. 
Jyväskylä at the forefront of developing physical literacy

The background philosophy for the project is the Physical Literacy model, i.e. “liikunnan lukutaito” as the term can be freely translated in Finnish. At the heart of the model is a lifelong comprehensive understanding of the importance of physical activity as a cornerstone of well-being in the everyday life. The Jyväskylä basketball club JBA is also involved in the project, whose task is to promote the cooperation of urban sports clubs on the same themes.

Contacts with other European sports cities

- As university cities with a strong focus on physical activity and sports, Jyväskylä, Umeå and Tartu are able to spur each other towards the common goals. By sharing our experiences, we can agilely identify and refine the best operating models into practice. The network of European reference cities is an important part of the development of the capital of sports. The project is also a good exercise for larger groups of projects. In the future, we will be able to demonstrate our internationally unique expertise and make a positive impact on the content of sports-focused projects for Finland, concludes Eino Leisimo, Director of Education Services at the City of Jyväskylä.

In the first phase, the one-year project will receive funding from the Erasmus + Sport program. This year, 1,142 applications sought joint European funding, of which 315 projects received funding. Erasmus+ Sport is the only programme focusing on physical activity and sports in the European Union. The size of the project coordinated by Jyväskylä is approximately 60,000 euros.

More information

City of Jyväskylä:
- Eino Leisimo, Director of education, culture and sports, tel. +358 14 266 4033
- Jon Salminen, Capital of sport coordinator, tel. +358 50 435 8173 
- Iiris Asunmaa, EU-Specialist, tel. +358 50 472 4253

The Capital of sport in Finland, Jyväskylä

Erasmus+ Sport -programme at the web-pages of the Finnish National Agency for Education