In Lapland there is a strong interest for collaboration in the field of sport. At the end of October 2019, directors and experts from Lapland’s organisations gathered together to think about needs for Inno4Sports action plan and shared priorities for sport development.
First of all, the group of participants already shows how important sport is in seen in Lapland. The participants included County Governor, the Mayor and the Director of Sport and Leisure from City of Rovaniemi, Headmaster of Lapland University of Applied Sciences, directors from Rovaniemi Municipal Federation of Education and Santasport Lapland Sport Academy, and other experts in the field of sports.
The main outcome of the workshop was that there is a need for shared understanding on the relevance and goals of sport development all around the region, which still needs work. Other needs that came up were:
• Recognising the existing expertise and conditions and using them as a basis for development
• Ensuring possibilities for sustainable year-round sport and wellness business all around Lapland
• Finding stronger link between sports and health care services
Sports can also support other business: one way to tackle lack of workforce in Lapland is to promote sport and leisure activities in order to attract new residents. The workshop was an act of collaboration with RegionArts project, which is promoting the linkages between creative industries and technology. Sport has great relevance in also this field.
The workshop was also a chance to test a lesson learnt from Eindhoven. We discussed the possibility to implement “Knowledge triangle” model in Lapland to make athletes, educational organisations and businesses collaborate in a way that benefits all. There was a consensus that such collaboration is lacking in Lapland but definitely needed. However, there was a shared understanding that more actors should be included to make it something else than a triangle. This model will be further developed to be included in the action plan.
The discussion of the outcomes and shared development activities will continue with Arctic Sport Network. The network brings together regional stakeholders from sport and related fields. Goal is that the network will continue it’s collaboration after the project ensuring that Inno4Sports will have permanent benefit in Lapland.