Hobby ride for schoolchildren – interested municipalities are invited to participate in the activities

Sanna Marin’s government programme sets out an even stronger direction for supporting children’s and young people’s hobbies in connection with the school day. In the strategic entity of the Government Programme “Finland of Knowledge, Education and Innovation”, under Objective 2 (Children and young people are well), the so-called Application of the Icelandic model to Finland is brought up. In short, the school day offers real opportunities for low-threshold hobbies: the goal is to give every child the opportunity to participate in hobbies.

In order to attain this goal, a search for funding for the Finnish hobby model has been launched. The pilot application from 3 November to 2 December 2020 seeks municipalities that are ready to start hobby activities according to the model from the beginning of 2021. EUR 9.5 million has been set aside for grants. The second search is next spring and concerns activities that begin in the fall. It is planned to hire a coordinator for the pilot municipalities whose task is to compile a meaningful overall package for the building of the Finnish model at the municipal level.

One key issue here may be the moving of children to hobby places from school. If this is the case, MDI already has a conceptualised solution: we have been involved in developing the overall concept of the ‘hobby ride service’ which allows children and young people to move safely from school to hobbies and back to school or to another place of their choice. The concept shifts the focus of children’s practice from evening to afternoon, reduces the need for parents to transport their children by car to hobbies, increases family time together after practice and provides more children with the opportunity to practice and access exercise activities more easily.

MDI offers a service package for € 50 000 + VAT, which includes 3 months of piloting in the municipality – which will be included in the trial. Piloting involves bringing together the various parties, the pilot phase of the software required for operations and the transfer of operations to the coordinating body in the municipality. The price does not include the costs incurred by the hiring of local logistics companies.

The concept reduces private car and other traffic (93%) as well as emissions more generally (37%) and enables the more cost-effective use of transport equipment, sports facilities and time. The operating model from the user’s point of view is described in Figure 1 and from the point of view of the actors, in Figure 2. The concept has been piloted in the Tampere region (NääsMaas). 92.7% of those who have tried the ride service recommend the service to others. According to the Tampere pilot, users would be willing to pay 3.63 euros per journey.