For a country with a population that reaches 10 million inhabitants, Sweden has an amazing ability to produce champions in various sports. This becomes less surprising when we look at national statistics and see that over 2,2 million practice sports diligently and are enrolled in one of 22,000 sports clubs. Sports Associations can also rely on the support of a million of non-practicing members.
The numbers leave no doubt. Swedish sports are a fundamental aspect of their national culture. In this country, everybody practices a sport and takes it very seriously. The Swedish Sports Federation, the body that in collaboration with the National Olympic Committee has the task to manage, coordinate and promote the 70 disciplines practiced in an organized set up, plays a major role in the life of the country.
The headquarters of the Riksidrottsförbundet activity or RF, as the Federation’s official name is commonly abbreviated, is in Bosön. As Karin Mattsson explains, the primary function of this complex is to be a sports training center that can “meet the needs of every athlete, without focusing exclusively on a particular sport.”
To achieve these ambitious goals, the Bosön complex houses not only the training facilities for athletes in all sports, but also a sports education center. From high school to university degree courses, the center offers a general education focused on sports. Their high school courses allow young athletes to prepare for their sporting careers without compromising their chances of having a good general education. University courses are designed to train teachers, coaches, sports doctors and all the sport science specialists who have always been the pride of Sweden.
To meet the expectations of high-level athletes for the Bosön complex, the Administration Council has recently decided to renew most of the installations. Among the choices for the most innovative new complex, there was the construction of an outdoor soccer field with synthetic turf. This decision was made to offer the best training field to the Swedish national women’s team.
There are the enormous advantages synthetic grass is able to offer.
First of all, synthetic grass provides the ability to have fields with a perfect playing surface even in places where the climate makes it impossible for natural grass to grow without needing expensive and heavy work in terms of environmental impact. Just think of the Nordic countries, with temperatures below the freezing point several months a year; or, in arid places or dry desert areas, where trying to keep alive a soccer field in natural grass would involve huge amounts of precious water.
Synthetic turf can be used without problems in a much more intensive way and it can last longer than natural grass. This means that a single field can accommodate a greater number of games, drastically reducing the cost and the need to have more than one field to accommodate all the sport teams.