Sport has always been popular in Estonia. In the population, the percentage of amateur athletes and people who regularly exercise is increasing. During the last three years, Estonian athletes have won over 160 medals in international championship competitions. Since 1996, sport has been in the Ministry of Culture’s area of government. The “Fundamentals of Estonian Sports Policy until 2030”, which was passed by the Riigikogu in 2015, defines the principles that form the basis of sports policy. According to the fundamental document of sports policy, the following objective has been established: by 2030 the mental and physical balance and wellbeing of Estonians should be comparable to the level of the Nordic countries, and the living environment in Estonia will promote physical activity along with services that support the lengthening of the lifespans and self-realisation of people who have lived healthy lives, and also strengthens economic growth.
The decentralisation of sport
The Estonian Olympic Committee
The umbrella organisation of sport is the Estonian Olympic Committee with 70 sport federations, 15 county sport associations, 4 city and town sport associations and 18 national sport associations among its members. There are also 18 individual persons among the members.
- There are around 3,400 professionally certified coaches and over 2,600 sport organisations in Estonia: around 2,400 sport clubs, over 120 sport unions, 70 sport federations, 19 county, city, and town sport associations, and the National Olympic Committee.
- Approximately 4,500 people in Estonia are active as sports judges.
- Annually, Estonian athletes will win more than 160 medals at international championship competitions, of which about a tenth are medals in classic Olympic events.
- As of 31 December 2019, 184,481 amateur athletes (ca 13% of the population) belonged to sports clubs or attended sports schools, incl. 108,438 young people 19 years old and under.
- Out of the population of Estonia, 40% exercise on a regular basis.
- There are around 3,300 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 objective of the sports policy is to help realise public interest in sports by creating the necessary sporting facilities.
The Biographical Lexicon of Estonian Sports
International major competitions held in Estonia
- Boy’s U17 football final competition 2020
- Ironman Tallinn 2018, 2019, 2020
- Rally Estonia 2018, 2019, 2020
- Tallinn Marathon since 2010
- European biathlon championship 2020
- European Optimist class sailing championship 2020
- European orienteering championship 2020
- Nordic combined world cup stage 2019, 2020
- Figure skating junior’s world cup 2020
- European triathlon championship 2020
- Wrestling junior’s world cup 2019
- European championship in speed and blitz chess 2019
- School sport’s orienteering world cup 2019
- Triathlon European Championships 2018
- Curling European Championships 2018
- Biathlon Youth and Junior World Championships 2018
- Badminton European Junior Championships 2018
- Enduro World Championship round 2018
- European Powerboat Racing Championships in GT-30, F-250 and F-500 2018
- World DN Ice Yacht Racing Championships 2018
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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