Functions of municipalities and joint municipal authorities

Sports services and youth work

Sports

In Finland, municipal sports services work closely with other municipal departments and with other sectors, NGOs and associations across municipal boundaries. As a result, the country boasts an extensive network of local facilities for everyday physical activity, with municipal sports facilities at its core. Local authorities own and maintain the majority of Finland’s 36,000 sports facilities.

Health-enhancing physical activity

Municipal sports services promote an active and healthy life style. They provide green spaces and outdoor areas for everyone to use and enjoy and a network of pedestrian and bicycle routes, which all contribute to a pleasant environment for local residents. The objective is to improve the health and well-being of residents in every age group. Local authorities finance mainly basic sports services.

Youth work

Municipal youth work and policy are organised as multi-professional collaboration. Young people are offered venues to hang out with friends, camps and other leisure activities; there are workshops for those requiring special support, and various groups and channels for influence and participation.

Youth services have a long tradition of collaborating with educational and social services departments, employment authorities and with NGOs in various partnership projects. It is increasingly more common that authorities and NGOs form networks to prevent social exclusion and to support multicultural youth work and influential youth groups. Regions cooperate in promoting youth involvement and communicating to young people.