Umeå Brottning was the main applicant for the allowance, in collaboration with Vaasan Voimaveikot and Vaasan Toverit. Together, they wanted to offer training opportunities for young wrestlers in Ostrobothnia, Southern Ostrobothnia, and Västerbotten. They also wanted to enable Finnish wrestlers to travel to Umeå Wrestling Battle.
– We sought the allowance with the aim of resuming and strengthening the exchange between wrestlers in the Kvarken region, improving the training opportunities for our young wrestlers, and above all for young female wrestlers who are quite few in each club, but who with the help of cooperation can find sparring companions and like-minded people, says Magnus Nilsson, coach, and board member in Umeå Brottning.
– Wrestling is a relatively small sport in both Sweden and Finland, which means long journeys to find sparring at a suitable level. Therefore, there is a great need for exchanges with other clubs so that the wrestlers can develop and choose to continue wrestling, Nilsson continues.
Umeå Wrestling Battle is one of the biggest wrestling competitions in the Nordics with around 450 wrestlers from several different countries. Umeå Wrestling Battle is organised every year by Umeå Brottning and in 2022, 27 Finnish wrestling clubs participated in the competition, which is a historically large number. Finnish clubs always make up the largest group in the competition alongside Swedish clubs.
– It is fun and developing for the wrestlers to meet young people from another country, hear the voices of other coaches and judges, meet another language, and make new friends. The shared interest in wrestling contributes in many ways to bringing young people from both sides of the Kvarken closer to each other, Nilsson says.
The Umeå wrestlers exchange with, above all, wrestlers in Vaasa have been successful and now the clubs have joint activities that are a part of their annual planning.
Allowance to strengthen contacts in the Kvarken region
The Kvarken Council may grant minor travel allowances for activities, events, and projects that strengthen contacts between the countries in the Kvarken region. The grant is nonrecurring and cannot be sought for the sustainment of operations but it is just as important in order to start new collaborations.
– The wrestling competition ties together many of the Kvarken Council’s goals. It reduces language barriers, activates young people, and encourages to doing sports. It also increases knowledge of the Kvarken region in combination with the fact that it initiates a collaboration across Kvarken that has the potential to grow and last, says the Kvarken Council’s Director Mathias Lindström.
Read more about the Kvarken Council’s travel allowance and support for grassroots cohesion HERE.