Children and young people need places where they can play sports without advance planning, near their homes and free of charge. Therefore, S Group and the Football Association of Finland jointly run the Ässäkenttä programme, with the objective of building 100 multi-purpose fields in the yards of Finnish primary schools by 2020. At the end of 2016, the number of completed fields was 63.
"Children and young people not exercising enough has been a valid concern in recent years. The Ässäkenttä fields considerably lower the threshold of exercising," Tero Auvinen, infrastructure manager at the Football Association of Finland, says.
The Ässäkenttä fields are free and open for everyone, with facilities for a variety of ball games and sports or for just playing and having fun. S Group finds building the fields very important, since exercising is an integral part of the daily life and well-being of children and young people. Therefore, supporting Ässäkenttä fields is also included in the new Best Place to Live responsibility programme.
Sixteen multi-purpose fields have been approved for construction and allocated a support sum of EUR 10,000 in 2017. Most fields will be built in Osuuskauppa Arina cooperative's region in northern Finland.
"Our co-op member base includes a large number of families with children, and therefore, it is natural for us to support the sports interests of children and young people. The multi-purpose fields are ideal places for them to be active and play sports and unwind during schooldays and leisure time," Pasi Ruuskanen, Arina's Marketing Director, says.
Photo: Tero Auvinen / Palloliitto