Financing of sport
The Ministry of Education and Culture finances physical activity and performance sports using national lottery and betting proceeds and budget appropriations. State sport financing consists almost entirely of government grants disbursed from national lottery and betting proceeds.
The Ministry of Education and Culture uses budget appropriations allocated for sport and physical activity for financing for example:
- sport and physical activity organisations and clubs
- the construction of sports facilities
- municipal sport and physical activity programmes
- sports and physical activity training centres (sports institutes)
- the promotion of active lifestyles
- the promotion of performance sports
- research in sport and fitness sciences
- other activities related to sport and physical activity
In the 2017 national Budget, approximately EUR 149.6 million in proceeds from lottery and betting proceeds were allocated to physical activity and performance sports. Budget appropriations are also used to help expand the Schools on the Move programme as a key project and to renovate the Olympic Stadium in Helsinki, and central government transfers are allocated to sports training centres.
Government grants and central government transfers
Government grants for sport and physical activity are allocated in the form of general grants and special grants. They are granted by both the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Regional State Administrative Agencies. Funds in the form of central government transfers are granted to municipalities and sports training centres.
Government grants are awarded to organisations such as national sport and physical activity organisations that are eligible for government grants. The grants are disbursed in the form of a general grant on the basis of the operational performance of the organisations. Special grants are allocated for promoting active lifestyles, for example.
Central government transfers to municipalities are disbursed to finance the operating costs of sport and physical activity programmes based on the number of residents and a unit price per resident. Municipalities may also be granted discretionary government grants for the development of sport and physical activity programmes as well as sport and physical activity projects that promote health. Approximately one quarter of Budget appropriations for sport and physical activity are allocated to municipal sport and physical activity programmes.
The operations of sports training centres (sports institutes) that provide sports education and other activities in the area of sport and physical activity are financed using central government transfers. The basis for calculating central government transfers for national sports training centres is one student day and a unit price per student day and for regional sports training centres one student instruction day and a unit price per student instruction day.
The national Budget includes an appropriation every year for the construction of sports facilities and associated recreational facilities. Government grants are mainly awarded to municipalities or joint municipal authorities as well as associations operating under their remit. Besides grants for construction, the Ministry of Education and Culture also provides financial assistance for research and development projects associated with the construction of sports facilities. Sports training centres may also qualify for discretionary government grants for their sports facility projects.
The Ministry supports performance sports by financing coaching, co-ordination of performance sports and anti-doping activities, for instance. The Ministry awards coaching and training grants to athletes, which are used to ensure that athletes can devote their full attention to training. The State does not provide financial assistance to profit-oriented professional sports.
Government grants are also used to finance research projects in sport and fitness sciences as well as the activities in sport and fitness sciences research and communications organisations.