Svenska SpelSvenska Spel

Anders Swalander, youth sports coach

Tyresö Gymnastic Association has been operating since 1975 and has close to 1,000 active members aged between 2 and 20. The association is one of those able to share in the SEK 50 million allocated by Svenska Spel to Swedish youth sports – funds which are allocated by the ­company’s customers. The total was SEK 131,694.

As Head Trainer, Anders Swalander plays a central role and supports all of the association’s trainers. In his role, he visits many of the association’s groups and during the week meets gymnasts from the age of five in the association’s Gymnastics School to 20 year-old members of the Swedish championship troupe.

What do the association’s activities mean for the local community?

“They mean a lot. Nine out of ten of our gymnasts are girls, but we are slowly attracting more boys. For a few years now, we have focused on trampolining, which attracts, in particular, slightly older boys. Since we offer training late into the night, they find themselves in the gym halls rather than hanging round the town centre, which many parents are grateful for. We also have two groups for children with disabilities that train with the association.”

How do you finance your activities?

“The association pays for new equipment and courses. The funds we have at our disposal include training fees, and activity support from the state and the municipality. Since gymnastics is not a sport with major media coverage, identifying interested sponsors is more of a struggle for us. Thanks to the funds from Svenska Spel, we do not need to chase down sponsors and sell salami, instead, we can spend that time on training our gymnasts.”

Have you considered what you will use the funds for?

“We are glad and grateful for Svenska Spel’s initiative, through which all associations share on equal terms. Correctly educated trainers is one of our goals and we are now able to continue the training of our trainers, an initiative that has cost SEK 80,000 to date in 2013. We will also invest in new tools, primarily soft foam equipment and perhaps a jumping pit with loose foam rubber cushions for our younger children. So some of the money that parents have used for gaming comes back to Tyresö Gymnastic’s gymnasts and trainers. We hope that Svenska Spel will continue with this type of sponsorship for many more years.”