Press Release of the annual general meeting of the Finnish Olympic Committee

The spring annual general meeting of the Finnish Olympic Committee was held on May 28 in Helsinki. The general meeting is attended by representatives of 89 Finnish sports organizations and four individual members. Additionally, 30 partner members have the right to attend the meetings.
The annual general meeting approved the annual report and financial statements of the Finnish Olympic Committee and held a preliminary discussion on the reports and rolling strategy of the sports community.

In his opening speech, Jan Vapaavuori, the Chairman of the Finnish Olympic Committee, called for an even stronger common will among sports organizations during challenging times.

– At the Olympic Committee, we will continue to do everything we can to ensure that there are encouraging and inspiring conditions for sports in society. At the same time, we recognize that we need to be even more effective and work even better together. Working together means more than just cooperation, and we must be able to operate differently than we would on our own, said Vapaavuori.

According to Vapaavuori, change is necessary, emphasized by the challenges of public finances and the entire national economy.

– We are not facing challenging times; we are already in the middle of them. In the fall budget session, it will become clear how much and in what way the latest cuts will affect sports. It is positive that, according to Minister Bergqvist, there will be no cuts to the general subsidies for sports organizations next year. Nevertheless, we need to find our solutions, and those solutions can only be found through rapid skills development and updating our toolkit and attitudes.

– We also lack a common strategy for sports, which is partly due to our model being different from other Nordic countries. These issues must be addressed now, Vapaavuori outlined.

Discussions on the reports of the sports community

Finnish sports organizations have jointly decided to carry out reports on the network structure, shared services, and possible changes. These reports have progressed during the spring, facilitated by the Olympic Committee. In the spring meeting, organizations held a preliminary discussion on the completed reports.

Key issues in the discussion included a common service center for sports, the role of the Olympic Committee, a shared strategy for the sports community, structures, resource allocation, and comparisons with other Nordic countries.

The reports have been conducted in two working groups, which also included international benchmarking. The working group on the current state of the network and possible structural changes was chaired by Riku Tapio, Secretary-General of TUL, and the working group on shared services was chaired by Pekka Ilmivalta, Executive Director of the Finnish Floorball Federation.
The work on the reports will continue based on the preliminary discussions. Decisions based on the reports will be made at the autumn general meeting on November 30, 2024.

Members approved a new implementation method for the autumn board election nominations
The main decision item of the annual general meeting was the implementation method for the nominations for the autumn board election. To increase openness and transparency, the members decided not to appoint a nomination committee for the autumn board election but to hold the election through a digital portal. The portal aims to openly display the candidates for the positions of the Chairman, Vice-Chairmen, and other board members.

The members also held a preliminary discussion on the potential review of the strategy. In last autumn’s meeting, the members decided to switch to a rolling strategy, where the strategy is updated as needed, rather than in four-year periods. The updated strategy will be approved at the autumn general meeting on November 30, 2024.

Additionally, the spring general meeting approved the 2023 annual report and financial statements.

More information: Finnish Olympic Committee, CEO Taina Susiluoto 050 3319832