6 December 2018

Estonian Olympic Committee (EOK) planned to launch a new elite sport programme in 2019, with the aim of improving the competitiveness of Estonian elite sport and increasing the number of medals won by the country in international championships.

“Team Estonia”, which was presented at the 9th Estonian Sports Forum in Paide (Estonia) on 15 November, is a joint project between EOK and Estonian Ministry of Culture. It will provide elite athletes and coaches with an extended support system and high-level conditions during their career. The programme – which will involve both Olympic and non-Olympic sports, individual athletes and teams – is set to reach full scope within five years.

At its last Forum, which was opened by President of Estonia Kersti Kaljulaid, the NOC also presented proposals on how to promote sports for all and regular physical activity among Estonian children and youth. In order to be compliant with the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations of 60-minute daily physical activity, it also includes proposals to all local governments to allocate 5% of their annual budget expenditure to support sports activities by the year 2025.

At the previous forum in 2014, the sports policies until 2030 were discussed, and the outcome was a strategy plan later approved by the Estonian Parliament.

The first Estonian Sports Forum took place in 1919 and, from then, is organised by EOK every four years in winter – once in the Olympic cycle. It gathers representatives of sports organisations, national and local governments to face key challenges in Estonian sports and find proper solutions.