Åre 2019 is not just about organizing a ski race. It requires a long process to plan, prepare and carry out the second largest winter sports event after the Olympic Winter Games, and to set some new benchmarks in event organization and management while at it, with extra focus on sustainability.
Between 14-15 March, a group of Swedish national sports federations visited the Audi FIS Ski World Cup Finals 2018 in Åre to gain insight into what happens behind the scenes of a top-level Alpine Skiing event. The guests represented the Swedish Handball Federation, Swedish Football Federation, Swedish Cycling Federation, Swedish Triathlon Federation and others. The Behind the Scenes visit is part of an educational program organized by the Swedish Sport Confederation (RF) Center for Events.
Leif Johansson who manages the Center for Events at RF and the SISU program for educating and training sport administrators, coordinated the visit together with Åre 2019 AB. He feels strongly about sharing information and inspiration among different sports and specifically about increasing the knowledge and understanding of sustainability as part of event organization.
He was very pleased with the afternoon of exchanges on 14 March during which the group received presentation from Åre 2019, Östersund 2019 Biathlon World Championships, the World Championships Region 2019, Åre Destination and Foundation Håll Sverige Rent (Keep Sweden Tidy).
– It is important to come together and share knowledge and know-how. This industry is growing and that’s why we need to work together to jointly develop it and to do that sustainably.
Many mistake sustainability just to be about the environment. But sustainability today extends beyond environmental concerns to also include economic and social dimensions. In the event industry that means a fine balance among many different aspects. And in no other sport than skiing is the connection to the livelihood of a sport so direct: skiing and snow sports depend on a climate that allows winter and snow to be a natural part of the experience.