It should be safe for everyone to exercise and compete in sports. The General Assembly of the Finnish Student Sports Federation (OLL) demands that we always take action against sexual harassment in sports because this type of harassment is unfortunately common. The world of student sports – and the sports world in general – neither have concrete means nor a common will to root out harassment. A painful example of these shortcomings is what happened at the European Student Championships in Coimbra this summer.
“Attitudes are the biggest problem. It seems that sexism is a widely accepted phenomenon in the field of sports”, points out Soile Koski-Aho, President of the Finnish Student Sports Federation in 2018. “In the sports world, gender stereotypes are still prevalent, and action is not always taken in cases of harassment”, President Koski-Aho continues.
The General Assembly demands that every sports operator develops practices which make it possible to really take effective measures against harassment. In addition, we want to put an end to sweeping harassment cases under the carpet. “We demand that measures to prevent harassment are considered in the funding criteria for events. Every case of harassment must be considered seriously”, underlines Joonas Suikula, who the General Assembly elected as OLL President for 2019.
The General Assembly would like to remind everyone that equal, harassment-free sports facilities promote students’ physical and mental well-being in many ways. At present, only a third of all higher education students are physically active enough with respect to their health. When sports facilities will be made safe and equal for everyone, the threshold to exercise will be lower.
OLL President 2019 Joonas Suikula wants that this important topic will continue to be discussed in national politics, too. “We demand that the parties in the upcoming parliamentary elections will profile more as promoters of both sports and equality”, Suikula concludes.
The Finnish Student Sports Federation (OLL)
Soile Koski-Aho, OLL President 2018, firstname.lastname@example.org, tel. +358 44 7800 211
Joonas Suikula, OLL President 2019, tel. +358 44 0652 452