Functions of municipalities and joint municipal authorities

Sports services and youth work

A girl doing a somersault

In Finland, municipal sports services work closely with other municipal departments and with other sectors, NGOs and associations across municipal boundaries. As a result of this cooperation, 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 lifestyle. 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 mainly finance basic sports services.

Youth work

Municipal youth work and policy are organised as multi-professional collaboration. Young people have a choice of venues to hang out in with friends; they can go to camps and try a diverse range of 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 NGOs in various partnership projects. It is increasingly common for authorities and NGOs to form networks to prevent social exclusion and to support multicultural youth work and influential youth groups. Regions cooperate in promoting youth involvement and offering information to young people.