Sport plays and will continue to play an important role in the people-to-people cooperation in the Barents Region, top sports officials from all four countries say.
Last week Barents Sports Committee met in Kirkenes, Norway. Representatives from Sweden, Norway, Finland and Russia underlined that the cooperation will continue in spite of hardships on the political scene.
“The people-to-people cooperation in the north has a long tradition and is too important to be influenced by politics. We have excellent relations with the sports committee in Murmansk and continue to invite our friends to sport meets in Norway as usual”, Leader or Barents Sports Committee Norway says in a press release.
The committee is now planning next year’s Barents Summer Games. The competition will take place in Oulu, Finland in August 2015 and is expected to gather 1500 participants from Norway, Sweden, Russia and Finland.
The first Barents Winter Games were held in Tromsø. Norway in April 2014 and gathered 700 young athletes from all four Barents countries.
Related stories from around the North:
Canada: Inuk NHL star Jordin Tootoo stick giveaway video goes viral, CBC News
Greenland: 2016 Arctic Winter Games to cut 6 sports, CBC News
Russia: Creating links across the Arctic – A look back on the Beringia Arctic Games, Eye on the Arctic
Sweden: Arctic hockey team to wear rainbow jerseys all season in support of LGBT rights in sport, Radio Sweden
United States: Passport troubles keep some athletes from Arctic Winter Games in Alaska, CBC News