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EXCHANGE OF SOCCER PLAYERS “Move your body, stretch your mind” is not only a title of the European Year of Education through Sport but also a title of one of the projects carried on by the city of Karlskrona in 2004-2005. Taking part in competition and meetings in different countries around the Baltic Sea allows to find new friends and to learn about each other and our way of living. When travelling with our groups, we take the opportunity to make a mix of education and sport activities. What are the differences for girls to play soccer in Sweden and Lithuania? In 2004 an interesting project with girls from Karlskrona, Sweden and Klaipëda, Lithuania as leaders has been started. Soccer is very popular in Sweden and an idea was to find out what we can learn from each other. The first step was to send five girls to Klaipëda in the summer of 2004. For a

In 2004 the girl teams from Klaipëda and Karlskrona met together in Lithuania

week they were training in Klaipëda and also made new friends. They discussed activities in the project and how to coordinate the project. The girls from Karlskrona have learnt about sport organisational systems in Sweden and in Lithuania, as well as about youth programs for the members of the European Union. Such questions as why are you a member of Lyckeby Soccerclub

or the problems with drugs in Sweden and Lithuania were also discussed. On 25-30 December, the team of 25 persons from Klaipëda is invited to Karlskrona to take part in the indoor soccer tournaments. They will compete with about 200 teams in the ages from 8-18. The last event in the project will take place in the summer 2005 when all the players from Karlskrona are going to Klaipëda to take part in the similar event. At the end of the project an exhibition presenting the worked out results will be organised in the premises of the Municipality of Karlskrona. The project is sponsored by a Swedish foundation of King Gustaf V which supports youth and education projects. Further information: Mr Mats Hansson City of Karlskrona e-mail:

THE SPORT ACADEMY Kotka Sport Institute which was established in the 1991 during its thirteen years of existence offered high quality and versatile possibilities to combine studies and goal-oriented sport training for young studentathletes. The institute provides training three times a week, twice a day. Assisted by experienced coaches, each student-athlete trains following the personal training program. Kotka Sport Institute is in fact a cooperation network which includes all the secondary schools in the city, the Vocational Institute and Kymenlaakso Polytechnic. When applying to the secondary level school or Polytechnic, students apply to the sport institute at the same time. The courses take place usually at some international coaching seminars. In August 2004 the Sport Institute signed a cooperation agreement with one of the most respected training centres in Finland, Pajulahti. This agreement makes it possible to have even more high quality athlete testing and training camps for a larger group of student athletes. Also, in the fall of 2004 doctor services,

physiotherapy and fitness club services are provided to the athletes. Recently Kotka’s Sport Institute has been asked to join a very limited group of sport academies in Finland and in November 2004 it becomes Sport Academy of Southern Kymenlaakso. This means that organization will spread into

Jonne Lehto has won five World Championship gold medals in skiorienteering

larger area geographically. Also, the amount of student-athletes will increase to 250. Right now there are about 20 different sports events included. The most popular are, if counted by the number of athletes, soccer and basketball, followed by track and field. During the school year of 2003-04 dozens of athletes represented Finland’s national teams in wrestling, orienteering, soccer, basketball, golf and track and field. No one did it better than Jonne Lehto by winning three World Championship gold medals in skiorienteering in addition to the two he had won the previous year. Operations of the Sport Institute of Kotka have been funded by the City as well as by Kymenlaakson liitto. One of the organizational goals is to provide the athletes with the best possible environment to achieve their dreams in sports. Further information: Ms Janne Silander Sport Academy of Southern Kymenlaakso, City of Kotka Tel. +358 44 7025731 e-mail:

BCB 2/2004


Profile for Union of the Baltic Cities

The UBC Bulletin 2/2004  

Education through sport

The UBC Bulletin 2/2004  

Education through sport