School pupils from the Nordic capitals – i.e. Helsinki, Copenhagen, Oslo, Reykjavik and Stockholm – gather every year to compete and meet peers from their neighbouring countries. Naturally, the main focus of the games is on sports, but the event programme will also feature plenty of other shared activities, such as a visit to Helsinki City Hall as per the invitation of Deputy Mayor Nasima Razmyar, and tours across Helsinki.
More than 200 participants in athletics, handball and football
The Nordic Capitals’ School Games event has a long history, as the first edition of the games was held in 1948. Helsinki has been taking part since 1951. The sports featured in this year’s games are an athletics pentathlon consisting of the 100-metre dash, long jump, high jump, shot put and the 800-metre dash, a girls’ handball tournament and a boys’ football tournament. Each participating city appointed 16 athletes (eight girls and eight boys), 10 handball players and 15 football players to their team. All contestants are currently in seventh grade at the highest. Helsinki’s team will consist of pupils of Helsinki schools who also live in Helsinki. Each country’s team will feature 41 pupils and six adults, bringing the total number of participants to 235.
“In addition to sports, the School Games emphasise Nordic cooperation, getting to know the cultures of the participating countries, and fostering a community spirit,” explain the leaders of Helsinki’s team, teachers Kari Ant-Wuorinen and Taina Mastomäki from Haaga Comprehensive School, welcoming all participants to the event. The official opening ceremony will be held on Tuesday 23 May at Kisakallio Sports Institute.