Progress for Swedish sports
Development and advances in sports is an issue to which Svenska Spel is extremely committed. It plays an important role, both for the individual athlete and for society in general. For more than 80 years, the Company has been dedicated to the development and advances in Swedish sports, at elite and grass-root levels.
Contribute to the development of hockey and handball
Svenska Spel’s sponsorship agreement with the Swedish Ice Hockey Association was extended for six years in 2015. An extended sponsorship agreement with HockeyAllsvenskan was also signed in 2015. In total, a further SEK 36 million was allocated agreements with the Ice Hockey Association and HockeyAllsvenskan.
In addition to national team activities, focus is on talent development, initiatives for women’s ice hockey and the men’s Division 1 ice hockey. Within the framework of the agreement, Svenska Spel wants to work with the association to contribute to enhance diversity in the sport. The aim is for ice hockey to become a sport for all, regardless of background and economic circumstances.
Svenska Spel also has a partnership with the Swedish Ice Hockey Association called Hockeyakademin (the Hockey Academy). The academy is an initiative involving twelve ice hockey consultants who are to inspire young talents and coaches. The aim is to secure the quality of trainers and players’ education.
During the year, an agreement was also signed with the Swedish Handball Federation, focusing on continued support to the development of both men’s and women’s national teams, as well as men’s and women’s series in Sweden. The agreement gives the Swedish Handball Federation SEK 30 million over a three-year period. The collaboration between Svenska Spel and the Swedish Handball Federation enables more intense diversity efforts, which includes more activities for people with functional and developmental disabilities as well as work addressing LGBTQ issues within handball.
SEK 50 million via Grass Roots
The opportunity to support your favourite association via “Grass Roots – SEK 50 million to youth sports” continues to garner interest among Svenska Spel’s customers. Grass Roots is Svenska Spel’s initiative by which our customers can help to decide how to distribute SEK 50 million. The customers register their favourite associations which then earn points when the customer plays. At the end of the year, the money is allocated according to how many points the different associations have amassed. Some 8,000 associations representing all of the Swedish Sports Confederation’s 70 sports are registered with Grass Roots. In 2015, some 43,800 customers (300,000) chose to support their favourite teams and in that way gave many young boys and girls better opportunities to practice their sports.
Annual elite sports scholarship
The Swedish Sports Confederation and Svenska Spel’s elite sports scholarship is distributed each year to elite athletes at the National team level who are enrolled at least half-time at a university, college or other higher-learning programme. In 2015, Svenska Spel increased the number of recipients to 75 athletes (42 women and 33 men) who shared the scholarship. The scholarship takes the shape of SEK 50,000 for each athlete and is awarded in conjunction with the Swedish Sports Awards. Among the recipients were Jonas Leandersson, orienteering competitor, Thomas Hjert wheelchair rugby athlete, Emma Fastesson Lindgren, skateboarder and Moa Hedell, football player.
Football talent initiatives
Tipselit is a more than 20-year partnership between Svenska Spel, the Swedish Football Association, Elitfotboll Dam (Women’s Elite Football Association) and Föreningen Svensk Elitfotboll (the Swedish Elite Football Association). The aim is to develop Swedish football through targeted investment in talents between the ages of 14 to 19 and in trainers and player coaches. The project also takes responsibility for the players’ social environment which includes studies and vocational training. The clubs receive financial support from Svenska Spel and the criteria for participating in the project were drawn up by the parties together. Svenska Spel was also part of initiating Svenska Spel F19, a series only for associations in Elitfotball Damer for players born 1996 or later. The aim is to reverse the trend of girls who give up football too early.
Spotlight on volunteer sports coaches
A large part of the Swedish sports movement is relies on volunteers in the form of coaches and devotees all over the country. Since 2004, Svenska Spel and the association Coachen distributes the Swedish Sports Leader Prize. The awards in 2015 went to Robert Håkansson, Olofströms IF, Jessica Österman, Trelleborgs Gymnastics & Dance and Tage Isaksson, Ymer Boxing in Borås.
More diversity and gender equality activities
Diversity, gender equality and integration in the world of sports are important to Svenska Spel. The issues matter from a general democratic perspective and for the future of Swedish sports. Svenska Spel wants to play a part in making everyone who wants to join a sports association feel welcome, regardless of nationality, ethnic origin, religion, age, gender or sexual orientation, and in making sports a route toward better gender quality and integration in society as a whole.
A few examples of good initiatives to promote diversity and gender equality in sports that have been driven by associations with whom Svenska Spel collaborates, include:
- In the summer of 2015, the Swedish Handball Federation participated with a team in the Special Olympics. The federation has also organised wheelchair handball activities and taken further steps in LGBTQ issues by participating in organising the Eurogames and sending an LGBTQ national team.
- By starting a hockey school in Angered, Göteborg’s HC has introduced hockey to more girls.
- Through the Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Rights, Kiruna IF has LGBTQ certified its association and during the autumn, the Swedish Ice Hockey Association started a recruitment campaign in seven different languages with the ambition of reaching more people and getting more to start playing hockey.
- Svenska Spel gave the association Grunden Bois Svenska Spel’s Instagram account for one week, which helped to raising a lot of awareness. Grunden Bois is an association whose ambition is that everyone, regardless of intellectual disabilities, should be able to take part in the sports community.