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The "official" home town of Santa Claus has 600 sports facilities
The Finnish City of Rovaniemi has been awarded the title of European City of Sport 2020 by the European Capitals and Cities of Sport Federation (ACES Europe). Representatives of ACES Europe have visited Rovaniemi in October 2019. During the visit, the team reviewed the sports facilities in the city and met with representatives of the Municipality, educational institutions, sports clubs and companies.
The final evaluation was made using the criteria of accesment of the sport infrastructure, access to sports facilities, future development and investments. The evaluation process took about two weeks. The awards will be officially handed out in Brussels in December.
Rovaniemi is the first Nordic city to receive the title European City of Sport. According to the decision of ACES Europe, Rovaniemi is a very good example of a city where sport promotes health, good community relations, education and mutual respect.
600 sports facilities in Rovaniemi
As part of the evaluation process, the city compiled an application document outlining Rovaniemi's investments in sport and physical activity and future development priorities.
Rovaniemi has almost 600 indoor and outdoor sports facilities, most of which are maintained by the Municipality. Some 5 million euros are spent annually for the maintenance of sports facilities. The annual budget for sports and leisure services is around 6.5 million euros, or 1.5% of the city's total budget.
There is a lot of development work done in Rovaniemi in the field of sports and exercise, but much remains to be done. This recognition does not stop development work in the sport field, it is only a step in the process. The recognition can be very useful for strategic development purposes for Rovaniemi. The title provides access to an international network of good practices from other European cities. Now, it is vital for Rovaniemi to set itself concrete goals for future development and work.
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