Do you want to see the future of sports?

Do you want to see the future of sports? “Tribute to Norway”

I am from Seoul of South Korea and have lived in Oslo of Norway as the member of Korea diplomatic family for 3 years.

This week I will be back to Korea with my family. Before I leave,  I hope to send my best tribute to Norway and Norwegian sports and culture as a sport mania and consultant.

During stay in Oslo, I could study lots of sports policies of national and local level of Norway. Moreover, I could participate to some sport clubs’ operation and education.

Fortunately, I could research many academic data for sports management and experience real situation of most advanced sports policy and implementation.

In Norway football is the most popular sport, with over 1,822 registered football clubs and over 393,800 registered soccer players. This means that 8.5% of Norway population play organized football

In Oslo, about 600,000 population, there are over 117 football clubs and 3438 teams, furthermore the clubs have football ground and academy system for children and youth.( In Seoul of Korea, 10 million population, about 60 football clubs including 5 club for girl and woman).

It is hard to keep on activating the sports and culture policy by political and economic fluctuation for long time. But Norway started its national sports policy and implantation from 1970 until now without stopping.

As a result, Norway can grow most health and welfare country through national sports environment in the world.

<The Norwegians came out on top once again in the UN’s annual rankings of global wealth, health and education>

With its 81.0 years of life expectancy, average annual income of $58,810 and more, Norway tops a recent UN report ranking quality of life. Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Ireland took the following places in the top five.

<Norway has more gold medals than 100 countries have total medals>

The Norwegians have a record 107 gold in Winter Olympics competition. only nine countries (United States, USSR, Austria, Germany, Finland, Canada, Sweden, Switzerland and East Germany) have won more total medals in the Winter Games. Though the tiny Scandinavian country won five of the first six medal counts, but only two of the past 15, it still has a stranglehold atop the count that it’s unlikely to give up in the next few decades.

Sport in the Scandinavian countries is characterized by three factors.

First, the level of participation in sports and physical activity is, compared to most other countries, high. Second, a high proportion of sporting activities are organized by voluntary sports associations. Third, there is a high level of interaction and interdependence between voluntary sport organizations and public authorities at national, regional and local levels.

Norway has a population of a little over five million, nearly half of whom are members of the Norwegian Sports Federation. Three out of four Norwegian children regularly take part in sporting activities.

Competitive sports attract enormous attention. Norwegian athletes have won international championship medals in a wide range of sports, including cross-country skiing, boxing, wrestling, speed-skating, curling, cycling, dancing, athletics, sledge-dog racing, handball, karate, orienteering, canoeing, rowing, sailing, shooting, weight- lifting, swimming and women’s football.

Norway is a small but very special sporting country

With a good 1.7 million members, the Norwegian Sports Federation is easily the country’s largest voluntary organization, comprising 45 sports federations. With over 338,000 members, the Federation of Company Sports is the largest, followed by the Football Federation with 280,000. Combining cross-country, jumping, and alpine events, the Ski Association numbers 166,000 members. The Handball Federation has over 100,000, and the Athletics Federation 56,000. Despite its great traditions, the Skating Association currently only has 5,800 members.

A popular movement

The status and widespread distribution of sports in Norway distinguish Norway as a sporting country. Regular physical activity is engaged in by over 40 per cent of the adult population. Fifteen per cent take part in competitions, and 3 per cent are top-flight competitors. The sports movement is the country’s predominant popular movement.

Child and youth sports

Over 500,000 children and young people under the age of 17 participate in organized sport, which is thus an important part of the environment in which Norwegian children grow up. Among the most popular activities are football, handball, aerobics, and jazz ballet, swimming and skiing. For 28 per cent of boys and 10 per cent of girls, football is mentioned as the main interest. Boys also like cross-country skiing, while girls prefer handball, jazz ballet and aerobics.

The main obstacle to improving sport for children is the shortage of qualified coaches and managers. The Sports Federation is giving top priority to establishing so-called sports schools for children, intended to cover and provide introductions to all kinds of sports. In 1991, sports school facilities were made available to 47,000 children.

Government and sports

Uniquely in Norway (and to some extent the other Nordic countries), sport is a popular movement with very widespread participation and support. The degree of government involvement is likewise unique. Norwegian sports policy is handled by the Ministry of Culture. The state annually allocates funds to the Sports Federation, and sports receive one-third of the profits of the state-run football pools and “Lotto”. Of these funds, about 60 per cent are spent on developing sports facilities, and the rest goes to the Federation. There are between ten and twelve thousand sports centers in Norway, from the most modest local ground to big stadiums and indoor halls. A great deal of work on sports facilities is local and voluntary.

Central government allocations to the Sports Federation account for between 90 and 95 per cent of its revenues (some NOK 200 million in 1991). From the Federation, money is channeled to the regional organizations.

Public sports policy is based on the “sport for all” principle. Main features of official Norwegian sports policy for the 1990s include:

Financial support for organizations to enable them to maintain extensive activities and thereby make a positive contribution to their local environments and communities.

Sports organizations must provide children with opportunities for participation in varied games and sporting activities in their neighborhoods.

A larger proportion of the population should be given greater opportunities to engage in sporting activities. This applies particularly to under-privileged social groups.

There must be equal opportunities for participants of both sexes, also with regard to reaching the highest level in their sports.

Talented young athletes should be given opportunities to combine their education with a full commitment to sport, regardless of their own financial resources and where they live.

Voluntary work

Over 12,000 sports clubs spread all over Norway attract a volume of voluntary work which is the backbone of Norwegian sport. The men and women elected to office in all these organizations make an invaluable contribution, which no state body could or would wish to replace. In the 1990s, central government will continue to give financial and political support to maintain and encourage this spirit of voluntary service.

Top level sports

Top level sports activities in Norway are funded both by central government allocations and by outside sponsors and business interests. The state, the Sports Federation and the Norwegian Olympic Committee (NOK), the highest authority where all training for and participation in Olympic events are concerned, cooperate with the private sector.

“Olympiatoppens” basic budget in 1991 amounted to some NOK 15 million. Each of the “owners”, the Sports Federation and the Olympic Committee, contributed a good six million, with the rest allocated out of central government funds. That year, 191 athletes (80 women and 111 men) took part in the organization’s activities. At “Toppidrettssenteret” in Oslo, the world of Norwegian sports has its own center for the development of top-flight sporting skills.

Sport Policy Document 2011–2015 of Norway

The Vision

The vision “Joy of Sport for All” is meant to capture both the work of the organisation and the policies relating to sport activities on all age and performance levels.

Sport and Public Health

Goal: Norwegian sport will continue to improve physical health through its wide offer of local sports and activities, and be a partner in a nation-wide alliance to reduce physical inactivity,

Physical Activity in the Local Environment

Goal: Norwegian sport will work to ensure children, youth and adults the opportunity of physical activity and physical expression.

Physical Activity in Schools

Goal: Norwegian sport will work to improve the conditions for the physical development and physical activity of children and youth.

Physical Activity in the Work Place

Goal: Norwegian sport will emphasise means that stimulate all employees to regular physical activity.

Sport and Society: Political Lobby Work

Goal: Norwegian sport will work to ensure a better framework for sport and physical activity in society.

A Multicultural Norway

Goal: Norwegian sport will work to ensure that a greater percentage of the immigrant population takes part in organised sport.

Responsibility for the Environment

Goal: Norwegian sport takes responsibility for its own environmental footprint through the development of an environmental policy and a strategic document


Sport has the capacity to transform the lives of individuals. It bolsters physical, psychological, emotional, and social well-being and development. At the same time sport plays a significant role in cultures and communities around the world.

Beyond what it contributes to physical, psychological and emotional well-being, sport also plays a significant role in healthy social development and interaction. Sport helps people learn how to set and achieve goals through discipline and hard work. It nurtures the development of decision-making and leadership abilities, while teaching people to manage both success and failure.

Sport in Norway has the opportunity to improve its communication skills and gain valuable experience in collaboration and teamwork. Sport in Norway brings people together who might not otherwise have a chance to meet and allows them an opportunity to share their experiences and work together toward a common goal. These social skills and experiences through sports are readily transferable to other aspects of life and may improve a person’s ability to succeed as a student, employee, community member, or advocate for a particular cause in Norway.

In Norway individual, community and nation have integrated with sound sports life and effective management system, moreover policy and implementation for sports development have produced most peaceful and welfare country of the world

Norway has showed how to achieve its social, economic, and healthy community through sports.

The future of sports will follow to the Norway way !



– The Norwegian Government’s Strategy for R & D in Sports, 2011(Director General Marit Wiig, Ministry of Culture)

– Sport Policy Document 2011–2015 of Norway, 2011

– Sport in Society(Voluntary organized sport in Denmark and Norway), 2010

– From day care to website( examples of children and young people participation in municipalities): Ministry of Children and Equality 2007

– Strategy for Norway’s culture and sports co-operation with countries in the South, 2005 (Hilde F. Johnson Minister of International Development)

– Oslo commune, City Chief Commissioner’s Department, 2008

– Sports in Norway, 2008(Olav Førde)

– The Institutionalization of an Elite Sport Organization in Norway: The Case of Olympiatoppen, 2006

– Volunteers and Professionals in Norwegian Sport Organizations(Ørnulf Seippel), 2002

– The role of sports as a development tool (U.S. Agency for International Development), 2006.


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