In Jyväskylä the importance of sport is also reflected in the number of facilities on offer. The City of Jyväskylä maintains altogether 450 sports venues from multipurpose halls to nature trails.
Information and contacts
The extensive Hippos Sports Park, situated right in the centre of the city, provides a venue for a wide variety of indoor and outdoor disciplines. Hippos Hall is the perfect facility for winter training in track and field, as well as racket and ball games. In Multipurpose Sports Hall numerous indoor sports from ball games to gymnastics and martial arts are practised. In addition to the main ice hockey stadium Synergia Areena, the area features two practice rinks which are heavily used, particularly by junior ice hockey teams . At Hippos Sports Park the Finnish national game, Finnish baseball, is played in its own stadium equipped with an artificial all-weather surface.
AaltoAlvari Aquatic Centre and the swimming hall Wellamo are also among the most popular sports venues in the city. AaltoAlvari is originally designed by the famous architect Alvar Aalto. It is a great venue for competitive and recreational swimming and other water activities. In AaltoAlvari one can also enjoy the spa section and join the instructed fitness classes. A specialty in AaltoAlvari is the senior gym, a gym equipped especially for the elderly. Wellamo is an idyllic swimming hall in the Vaajakoski district, perfect for families with children.
The sports hall Graniitti in Kuokkala is somewhat exotic among sport facilities in Jyväskylä. It is built into a rock and, besides its use in sports, is an air-raid shelter. A multitude of indoor sports can be practised in Graniitti. There are halls for ball games, gymnastics and martial arts. The city’s indoor firing range is also situated here.
Vaajakoski Sports Hall is best suited for ball games. For example floorball games on international level can be played in the hall. In addition to the Synergia Areena ice hockey stadium and the practice rinks at Hippos Sports Park, the city has one more ice hockey stadium in Tikkakoski which serves as a venue for ringette, for instance.
Besides the actual sport facilities, the physical activity premises in the city’s schools are under active use during evenings and weekends. Especially sport clubs use school gyms as they are often conveniently situated close to the young practitioners’ homes.
For track and field and football, the main venue in Jyväskylä is the Harju Stadium, located up on the beautiful Harju hill right in the heart of the city. The Harju Stadium was built already in 1926 and is the oldest athletics field in the city. Another athletics field is situated at Vaajakoski Sports Park, which also contains a football court.
In Jyväskylä, there are all together 15 local sports parks with different sizes of sports fields and ice rinks during winter. At Viitaniemi Sports Park, there is a large ice rink that serves speed skaters and rink bandy players. The ice rink is also excellent for normal public skating.
For walkers, joggers, and skiers Jyväskylä can offer a number of recreational areas. The city’s largest recreational area is Laajavuori. In the winter time, it boasts slopes for alpine skiing, a ski jumping hill as well as illuminated cross-country ski trails. In the summer time, the area is the perfect place for jogging or walking. The network of cross-country ski trails is vast in Jyväskylä. There are approximately 500 kilometres of maintained cross-country ski trails. At Laajavuori alone, there are 62,5 kilometres of them. 100 kilometres of the ski trails are under floodlights, and 140 kilometres of them are maintained on frozen lakes.
Rantaraitti is a path around Lake Jyväsjärvi in the city centre. It has in just a few years become extremely popular among walkers, cyclists and rollerbladers who can enjoy both natural and urban landscapes through all four seasons of the year. Rantaraitti is just one of the city’s numerous pedestrian and cycling paths that encourage people to make physical activity an everyday part of life. During the coldest winter months, a natural ice skating track is created on the surface of Lake Jyväsjärvi right next to the city centre. There is also another one on Lake Palokkajärvi. Both tracks are over 3 kilometres long. No wonder that trek skating is getting increasingly popular in Jyväskylä.
Everymans’ right in Finland
Maps of outdoor recreation areas:
Information and reservations of turns in sport facilities: telephone: +358 14 266 4255, e-mail: liikunta.varaukset[at]jkl.fi, and http://webbitimmi.jkl.fi (in Finnish; click on "Selaile kirjautumatta")
Map of trails and cycling routes: http://kartta.jkl.fi/
Maps and maintenance information on the ski trails and trek skating tracks: www.jyvaskylanseutu.fi/kannat/latuinfo
Laajavuori Ski Centre: www.laajavuori.com/english