Sport has always been important to Finns, and Finland is today one of Europe's leading countries when it comes to active participation. 60% of men and 64% of women engage in some sort of physical activity or sport at least twice a week, so it's no wonder that the country provides access to an extensive range of sports, or that there are so many sporting clubs and associations in Finland.
Finnish winters being what they are, it comes as no surprise that Finland's main towns have excellent indoor sports facilities to match the numerous winter sports facilities that have nurtured and developed a wealth of talent over the years. There is a long tradition in Finland of passionate amateur and professional sport, aided by the fact that over 10% of the population volunteers in the training and development of its young athletes in every sport. Consequentially the country boasts centres with the very latest sports and wellness knowledge and technology, with top-notch equipment available and expert coaching and tuition where needed.
Helsinki, as the nations capital and home to almost 20% of the population, is particularly well served in sports facilities, and visitors will be delighted to discover the wide range of activities that are available to them. Various ball sports, athletics, gymnastics and other indoor activities can be practised at sports halls throughout Helsinki. Among the sports catered for are badminton, basketball, billiards, bowling, curling, ice skating, ice hockey, indoor cycling, indoor running, golf-simulator, intercrosse, korfball, squash, tennis, wall-climbing, floorball, volleyball, table tennis, airgun shooting, and archery.
Helsinki's local government plays a large role in the provision and maintenance of sports facilities through the Helsinki Sports Department which manages about 70 sports halls (including 3 ice skating rinks), 350 sports fields, a riding hall and 5 indoor swimming halls, as well as almost 200 km of ski tracks. The Sports Department of Helsinki also provides support to corporations who run an additional 9 indoor swimming halls, and numerous other ice skating rinks. The Sports Department is also responsible for two outdoor swimming pools (Kumpula Outdoor swimming pool and the Swimming Stadium at Hammarskjöldintie) as well as 26 supervised swimming beaches.
The Sports Halls in Helsinki are: Herttoniemenranta Sports Hall, Kamppi Liikuntakeskus, Katajanokka Sports Hall, Kontula Kuntokellari, Käpylinna, Laajasalo Sports Hall, Latokartano Sports Hall, Liikuntamylly, Maunula Sports Hall, Myllypuro Pallomylly, Pajamäki Football Hall, Pirkkola Ball Hall, Puistola Sports Hall, Tali Football Hall, Töölö Sports Hall, and Vuosaari Football Hall.
The Sports Parks and Sports Fields in Helsinki are: Ala-Malmi Sports Park, Arabia Sports Park, Herttoniemenranta Sports Park, Herttoniemi Sports Park, Kontula Sports Park, Käpylä Sports Park, Laajasalo Sports Park, Laajasuo Sports Park, Lassila Sports Park, Lauttasaari Sports Park, Meilahti Sports Park, Mustikkamaa Sports Park, Myllypuro Sports Park, Oulunkylä Sports Park, Pirkkola Sports Park, Puistola Sports Park, Pukinmäki Sports Park, Ruskeasuo Sports Park, Siltamäki Sports Park, Tali Sports Park, Tapuli Sports Park, Velodrome, and Vuosaari (Kartano) Sports Park.
The Indoor Swimming Pools in Helsinki are: Itäkeskus, Jakomäki, Pirkkola, Yrjönkatu, Haaga, Kallio, Kontula, Lauttasaari, Malmi, Mäkelänrinne, Siltama, Töölö, and Vuosaari.
The Supervised Swimming Beaches in Helsinki are: Aurinkolahti, Furuvik, Hevossalmi, Hietaranta, Jollas, Kallahden kainalo, Kallahdenniemi, Kivinokka, Laajasalo, Lauttasaari Kasinoranta, Lauttasaari outdoor recreation area, Lehtisaari, Malmi, Marjaniemi, Munkkiniemi, Mustikkamaa, Pakila, Pihlajasaari, Pikkukoski, Porvariskuninkaanpuisto, Pukinmäki, Puotila, Rastila, Seurasaari, Seurasaari Uimala, Suomenlinna, Tuorinniemi, Uunisaari.
However, Helsinki is not the only city that has a wealth of indoor facilities for sports and recreation. In Central Finland, Jyväskylä is probably the next best represented, possessing the AaltoAlvari Aquatic Centre, Hutunki, which specialises in ball sports, the Peurunka Wellness Holiday Centre, and the Hippos Sports Park which is the largest sports park in the Nordic countries. Likewise, cities like Turku, Tampere, Kuopio, Oulu, and Rovaniemi are all well equipped.