Sport has always been popular in Estonia. The proportion of recreational sport enthusiasts among the population is increasing each year and in 2014, 45% of the people living in Estonia had sport as a hobby. Each year, Estonian athletes win every year more than 125 medals on average at international competitions (2015 - 156, 2014 – 138, 2013 – 132, 2012 – 125, 2011 – 126), out of which about a tenth is from traditional Olympic sports. Since 1996, sport has been under the governance of the Ministry of Culture.
The decentralisation of sport
The Estonian Olympic Committee
The umbrella organisation of sport is the Estonian Olympic Committee with 66 sport federations, 15 county sport associations, 4 city and town sport associations and 17 national sport associations among its members. There are also 19 individual persons among the members.
- There are around 3,500 professionally certified coaches and over 2,300 sport organisations in Estonia: oner around 2,000 sport clubs, 118 sport unions, 64 sport federations, 19 county, city, and town sport associations, and the National Olympic Committee.
- The clubs unite 145,043 sporting enthusiasts (roughly 10% of the population), including 85,049 people under 19. (01.01.2016)
- Out of the population of Estonia, 45% exercise on a regular basis.
- There are around 2,600 sports facilities and exercise areas in Estonia.
Recreational, professional and youth sports receive support from the state as it is in its interests that the people of Estonia develop a habit of exercising. For this purpose the state supports various sports organisations, investing into new sports facilities and exercise areas and modernising the existing facilities.
In Estonia, the domain of sports is governed by the Sport Act which lays down the general organisational and legislative provisions on the organisation of sports, the rights and obligations of an athlete and a coach, an Olympic medallist’s bases for applying for and receiving national support, the bases for the financing of sport, as well as requirements for organising sports events and liability for a violation of the requirements.
On 18th of February 2015 the Riigikogu approved „The general Principes of the Estonian sports policy until 2030“ (PDF).
The Biographical Lexicon of Estonian Sports
International major competitions held in Estonia
- Biathlon European Championships 2015
- European Athletics U23 Championships
- European Road Cycling Championships 2015
- World Junior Figure Skating Championships 2015
- One race of the FIS Cross Country World Cup 2015
- One race of the World Rally Championship 2014, 2015
- Junior EC - powerlifting 2013
- Basketball U20 EC finals 2013
- Track and field U20 EC 2012
- Figure skating EC 2010.
- European Shooting Championship Juniors
- One race of the European Rally Championship
- Zoom8 World Championships in Sailing 2016
- European Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships
- World Schools Championship Basketball 3×3
- World University Beach Volleyball Championships
- European Championships in Aesthetic Group Gymnastics
- Power Boat Racing World Championship classes GT-15, OSY-125 and O-400
Estonia participating in the work of the European Union
Estonia participating in the work of the Council of Europe
Cooperation in anti-doping fight
Cooperation in the fight against the manipulation of sport results
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