An agreement of intensified cooperation has been concluded between the Finnish Olympic Committee, the Jyväskylä Sports Academy, and the City of Jyväskylä, as well as the members the EduFutura Jyväskylä community; the Jyväskylä Educational Consortium Gradia, the JAMK University of Applied Sciences, and the University of Jyväskylä. The agreement serves to more clearly demarcate the roles of actors in Finnish elite sports, as well as their individual tasks and cooperative arrangements within the network.

– This agreement means an understanding on mutual cooperation. Our objective is to discover new, common resources, and to add to the competence that helps Finnish sport to more success than it currently enjoys. Sports academies, coaching centres, as well as cities must be part of that success, says Antti Paananen, from the Olympic Committee’s Elite Sport unit.

The City of Jyväskylä and the other parties are glad to see the cooperative relationship bear fruit, as this serves to further strengthen the cooperation between Jyväskylä, the Sports Capital, and the Olympic Committee, in sports aiming to contend at the top. 

– Through this cooperation, Jyväskylä will burnish its profile as the hometown of sports, and especially elite sports, with the facilities and the know-how to increasingly coach athletes at an international elite level. Jyväskylä’s great strength is its breadth of sporting activities combined with cutting-edge research, and through the knowledge available through the Olympic Committee, we are able to develop our coaching resources still further, says Jyväskylä mayor Timo Koivisto.

Jyväskylä participates in the cooperation with a wide variety of sports

The Olympic Committee is also happy with the agreement, and says Jyväskylä is one of the key members of its network of sporting academies.

– To us, Jyväskylä is a very important partner. It is one of the six key locations for national sporting federations to concentrate their operations. Therefore, it also plays an important role in the network of sporting academies and coaching centres, says Paananen.

Jyväskylä offers the agreement a wide variety of sports. Over the 5-year term of the deal, cooperation will take place in, among others, athletics, swimming, artistic gymnastics, ice hockey, mogul skiing, football, basketball, Finnish baseball, floorball, volleyball, as well as cross-country skiing and Nordic combined. The agreement will be operationally coordinated by the Jyväskylä Sports Academy, which works to develop sports together with the other parties as well as local sporting associations and other actors.

–This agreement will certainly strengthen our status as an academy, as well as coaching, and give a boost to the development of our other circumstances, says Sports Academy head Aki Karjalainen.

The Sports Academy in Finland

The Sports Academy is a regional network connecting athletes from junior high school age all the way to elite level, as well as coaches, experts, associations, federations, and institutes of learning. The Sports Academy makes possible for an athlete to pursue a dual career; training in their chosen sport while studying and working, or being a professional athlete. The Finnish dual career model begins at the junior high school stage and continues all the way to the career shift that must take place at the end of the elite athlete’s career.

More information

Olympic Committee’s Elite Sport unit 
Director Antti Paananen, tel. 044 541 3651

Mayor of the City of Jyväskylä, Timo Koivisto, tel. 050 336 2819
Head of the Sports Academy of Jyväskylä,  Aki Karjalainen, tel. 0400 247 464