New research programme aims at making Sweden the global leader of sustainable sports and outdoor recreation

Mon 30 Sep 2019 00:00

Over a period of four years, Mid Sweden University will lead a large research programme that will look into the effects of sports and outdoor recreation on the environment and nature. The Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research, Mistra, will grant the programme SEK 56 Million. The long-term aim of the programme is to make Sweden the global leader in this field.

– The fact that Mid Sweden University gets the opportunity to lead such a large, joint national research programme is an acknowledgement that the research of ETOUR, Sports Tech Research Centre and the Swedish Winter Sports Research Centre, who are all participants of the project, holds a high standard, says Anders Fällström, Vice-Chancellor of Mid Sweden University.

The programme will be divided into six topics, where the scientists will study sustainable transport, smarter and more sustainable materials for outdoor activities and sports, the way sustainability aspects can help sports and outdoor recreation events, as well as the psychological effects the use of land and water has. The research will also look into the current knowledge from a historic point of view, as well as the way decision-making and policies need to be changed in order to increase the level of sustainability in the future.

The long-term aim of the programme is to establish a new, network-based centre for research, development and policy support for sustainable solutions in the field of sports and outdoor recreation.

– The research will be conducted by means of a model where the researchers work together with organizations in the fields of sports, outdoor recreation and environment to identify the most important topics, says Peter Fredman, professor of tourism studies at Mid Sweden University, proposed leader of the research programme.

The research programme aims at being a role model for sports and outdoor recreation – for sustainable development and to minimized negative effects on the environment. In order to gather as much expertise as possible, Mid Sweden University collaborates with six Swedish universities: KTH, Malmö University, University of Gothenburg, Dalarna University, Chalmers and Stockholm University.

A large number of organizations and authorities linked to nature, environment, sports and outdoor recreation are tied to the programme, such as Naturvårdsverket (the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency), Riksidrottsförbundet (the Swedish Sports Federation), several specialized sports government bodies, Friluftsfrämjandet (the Swedish Outdoor Association) and Svenska Turistföreningen (the Swedish Tourist Association).

– Our partners have agreed to grant the research programme SEK 14 Million, which is an acknowledgement emphasizing their interest in and the relevance of the programme. Sports and outdoor recreation face a number of challenges in terms of sustainability and therefore, it is gratifying to be able to lead such a programme, says Sandra Wall-Reinius, Associate Dean of the Faculty of Human Sciences at Mid Sweden University.

Sandra Wall-Reinius, Associate Dean of the Faculty of Human Sciences at Mid Sweden University,, +46(0)010-142 82 46
Peter Fredman, Professor of Tourism Studies at Mid Sweden University,


The page was updated 10/14/2019