Ivan Štulajter

A Comparative Analysis of Sports Policies in the Nordic Countries

(Porovnávacia analýza športových politík v severských krajinách)

Politické vedy, Volume 25, Number 2/2022, pages 34-53



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ŠTULAJTER, I. 2022. A Comparative Analysis of Sports Policies in the Nordic Countries. In Politické Vedy. Vol. 25, no. 2, pp. 34-53. ISSN 1335 – 2741. Available at:


Sport has been part of the life of humans and is no longer connected with the need of physical activity as it unites people despite political, cultural or religious differences. In the foreign policies of most states, sport is important aspect of ​​prestige and reputation of the country in the world. States are aware of sports´ social and political importance, it is therefore in their interest to ensure the best possible conditions for its development in the country. Besides promoting high-level sports, national teams and top athletes, the sports policy of the Nordic countries also focuses on athletes with disabilities, national and international sports competitions, national federations, anti-doping strategies, etc. The aim of the current study is to present individual sports policies of Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden, and to compare their approaches to the sports policy. We used a comparative method to find out essential peculiarities of the above mentioned Nordic countries in their approach to sports policy. Our comparative analysis revealed that many of the main characteristics of Nordic sport policy relate to strong cultural and political background. When financing sports policy in each country, we may conclude that while government funding in Sweden is based on tax revenues, in Norway, Denmark and Finland sports activities are largely funded through government revenues from the gambling market and the lottery. The results provide some interesting insights into selected secondary aspects of sports policy, namely strengthening sports in schools and the promotion of health benefits of sports activities.

Key words: sports policy, the Nordic countries, funding, Scandinavia, legislation, health, sport organisations, sport clubs, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland

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