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City of Rovaniemi aspires to become an international hub for sports and wellbeing

Julkaistu 20.3.2024 11:25


Business Rovaniemi hosted a kick-off event in late February to bring together professionals from local research and educational organisations, businesses and city management to start a joint venture of developing the city into a centre for sports, wellbeing and year-round tourism.

"Now let's roll up our sleeves and together make Rovaniemi a world-renowned centre for sports and well-being that serves the city's residents and increases sustainable year-round tourism!" encouraged the city’s Mayor Ulla-Kirsikka Vainio in her opening speech.

During the event, it was aknowledged that Rovaniemi has a long history in the field of sports and exercise, but many development plans have not actualized in the end. Now the different actors in the region have a strong will to combine resources and work together to promote sports and well-being as building blocks for new expertise. The participating businesses emphasized the importance of quick and tangible business benefits as the driving force for cooperation, whereas the research and educational organisations saw that the initiative being launched under the leadership of the city offers excellent opportunities for applying existing know-how, facing practical challenges and developing new proficiency.

In the spring of 2024, City of Rovaniemi will lead a process that will see the building of a common vision, setting goals for development and making plans for concrete action. One of the main targets is to raise sports and well-being into one of the corner stones of the region’s economic growth as well as being an important factor in the well-being of the city’s residents. "We need to find new ways to get public and private investment funding from Finland and the EU for Rovaniemi's most important development sites," said Antti Lassila, chairman of the infrastructure-focused sub-group and Director of Welfare, Educational and Recreational Department at City of Rovaniemi. The arctic environment, good accessibility and high-level of education are Rovaniemi's competitive factors, with which the city can attract new top experts, companies, finance and visitors.

Key partners of the cooperation are: City of Rovaniemi, Lapland Education Centre REDU, Santasport Lapland Sports Institute and Olympic Training Centre, Lapland University of Applied Sciences, University of Lapland, Natural Resources Institute Finland LUKE and several businesses. More detailed goals, milestones and roadmaps will be presented in August 2024.

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