17 / 01 / 2023

Allowance to strengthen cooperation and conditions for young wrestlers

The Kvarken Council grants allowance for activities that strengthen contacts between Sweden and Finland in the Kvarken region. At the end of 2021, Umeå Wrestling Club, called Umeå Brottning, was granted support for training and competition opportunities together with Finnish wrestlers and clubs. The collaborative project included activities on both sides of the Kvarken, ending in Umeå and the international tournament Umeå Wrestling Battle. The tournament took place on the 14th–16th of October 2022.

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.

During Umeå Wrestling Battle it is possible to experience the shared interest in wrestling. The tournament took place on October 14th–16th, 2022.

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.

Wrestling at all levels – from small children who think it’s fun to run around on the mat and do forward rolls, to elite juniors with national team and championship aspirations, and everything in between.

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.