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Söderhamns UIF

"We can invest more in our training facility so that we remain an attractive meeting place for youngsters who want to play table tennis."

Anders Eriksson, Söderhamns UIF

Söderhamns UIF is the only northern Sweden team in the Pingisligan and Superettan (top two table tennis leagues in Sweden) in table ­tennis. The association has about 150 active players of all ages and received some of the SEK 50 million that Svenska Spel’s customers have been involved in distributing to youth sports around the country. 

Söderhamns UIF is the small, non-profit association that conducts its operations in one of Sweden’s largest training facilities for table ­tennis. Three years ago, the association invested in a 50-bed accommodation for camps adjacent to the hall. The operations are in high demand and both the Finnish and Norwegian national teams have visited to train.

Anders Eriksson is one of the driving forces behind the association with 40 years as trainer and team leader. He looks forward to being part  of strengthening the younger generation’s self-confidence through sport and commitment to the association.

What does the sport mean to the community and your members?

“The sport is extremely important for the individual and the association means a lot for the community. Not everyone who plays can become a world champion, but each individual should be able to develop based on their own prerequisites and ambitions. Our overriding goal is to create those prerequisites. The work and activities of the association can make an important contribution if one doesn’t just focus on results and classifications.”

Which activities cost most and how do you finance operations?

“As the only northern Sweden team in the top series, there are a lot of expensive journeys down to southern Sweden for matches and individual competitions. We also have costs for participation fees and trips to Swedish championships for different age groups, as well as costs for rent and amortisation of our facility. Funding comes from sponsors, elite grants from the Municipality of Söderhamn and grants from the Sparbanksstiftelsen (the Swedish Savings Bank foundation). In addition, we have an activity support grant, member fees and revenue from our own competitions as well as bingo and lotteries.”

What does getting this money from Svenska Spel’s Grass Roots mean to you?

“We received SEK 54,000, which is a considerable amount in relation to our turnover. This means we can invest further in our training facility so that we remain an attractive meeting place for youngsters who want to play table tennis. We also want to invest in being visible and to appreciate the leaders who invest their time in the association’s youngsters. Svenska Spel’s Grass Roots initiative also recognises the work of small associations.”