Development of School Sport in Estonia; Eesti Koolispordi Liit
The Estonian competitive calendar for school sports currently consists of a total of 16 different sporting disciplines, running between September and May.
During that period, Estonia will also be hosting the ISF World School Championship (WSC) for Orienteering between April 29th and May 5th in Otepää. The combination of providing competitions for many different sports with the hosting of a global event is a clear demonstration of the country’s intent and commitment in the development of school sport on both the national and international stage.
In Estonia, it is widely believed that school sport and physical education hold fundamentally important roles in the early development of youth. Participating in these activities enables youth to comprehend and learn key societal values on their journey to joining the adult world. Aside from growth in physical skills, learning aspects such as dealing with competition and the winning or losing that accompanies it, impact young participants, benefitting their social and moral development. Establishing this as common practice from an early age is vital in helping the Estonian youth become healthier and happier.
The Estonian School Sport Union is a major player in the task of tackling the inactivity of the Estonian youth. As well as increasing the Estonian youth activity; providing them with a positive and engaging experience of sport at an early age is also important. Working alongside national governing bodies, the goal is to not only increase the physical benefits gained by young participants but to also achieve educational development.
Plans put in place by the Estonian School Sport Union will focus on providing a wide array of opportunities for children to engage in sport, allowing them to fulfil their potential or simply participate at differing levels. This will include increased cooperation with schools, sports clubs and other sporting groups, creating sustainable opportunities for participation in both a school and a communal environment.
Estonia has made several steps towards this goal of providing increased opportunity for youth to participate in physical activities. One such step is the country’s involvement in the Erasmus+ funded project European School Sport Day (ESSD) which aims to raise the profile of physical education (PE) and school sport, whilst promoting health and well-being for lifelong learning all through fun physical activity initiatives.