FINCIS explores athletes’ experiences in Finnish competitive sports

The Finnish Center for Integrity in Sports (FINCIS) examines the experiences of athletes in Finnish competitive sports in an extensive study. The study is carried out in co-operation with about 50 different sports organisations. At the beginning of April, the organisations will send out a survey to thousands of athletes who meet the definition of a competitive athlete. The study will be completed next autumn.

The study conducted by FINCIS is a continuation of the study Harassment in Finnish Competitive Sports published two years ago, which investigated the frequency and background of sexual and gender-based harassment in sports. The aim of the new study is to increase awareness in the sports community about the positive and negative experiences in competitive sports and the related factors. Alongside inappropriate and irresponsible action, we are now also examining the relevant and responsible experiences, that is, the good experiences inherent in sports.

“The events of the last few weeks and the debate that they have sparked indicate that there is a need for this study. We need more information on our sporting culture in order to have a realistic overview of the current situation. The disclosure of incidents also indicates a change and that inappropriate behaviour is recognised and dared to be boldly brought up. It is now important that athletes respond to the survey to bring up the issues they have experienced or observed, and with the information we have learned, we can continue to promote and strengthen responsible operations,” says Nina Laakso, Research Manager at FINCIS.

The survey is sent through sports organisations to competitive athletes aged 16 and over. Athletes answer the survey anonymously and the data is treated as confidential material. Participation in the study is voluntary.

“Athletes now have the opportunity to highlight their own experiences and perceptions of sports, both good and bad, bad meaning those that should be improved. I believe that by sharing their experiences, they all will help all of us to better understand the issues and make sports even better,” says high jumper Ella Junnila.

In the future, a study to be repeated every three years will provide information on the baseline of Finnish sports. The study is carried out by FINCIS in co-operation with about 50 different sports organisations. FINCIS is responsible for the implementation, analysis and reporting of the survey. The results of the study will be published in the autumn.

Reporting and discussion channels

Everyone has the right to report if they suspect sports violations. You can report unethical activities such as harassment of an athlete or another actor in the FINCIS’s ILMO Service, anonymously or with your own name. The content of the report is processed confidentially. All information received is analysed for the need for possible further actions. Interfering with violations helps protect sports and ensure that all athletes’ starting points are equal and safe.

The You are not alone – ‘Et ole yksin’ service provides low-threshold discussion support and guidance for those who have encountered bullying, harassment, violence or other inappropriate behaviour in sports, as well as the people close to them. The service is free of charge and can be contacted anonymously. More information about the service and current on-call times can be found at: (Finnish and Swedish).

Earlier research: Harassment in Finnish competitive sports

Additional information:
Susanna Sokka
Communication Manager – FINCIS
tel.: +358 (0)40 740 7477