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Svenska Spel distributes SEK35m to Swedish grassroots sports

| By Robert Fletcher
Sweden’s Svenska Spel has distributed SEK35.0m (£2.9m/€3.3m/$3.4m) to grassroots sports organisations in the country as part of its long term "Gräsroten" initiative.
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Launched 10 years ago, the Svenska Spel’s Gräsroten campaign has generated more than SEK500.0m for grassroots sports associations and groups across the country to date, allowing more children and young people to get involved with sports.

This year, the funds were split between 8,567 associations in 35 different sports, including mainstream sports in Sweden such as football, ice hockey and handball.

Funding was also committed to associations dedicated to more niche sports in the country such as cheerleading, skateboarding and cricket.

Confirmation of the funding total comes after Svenska Spel in the summer commissioned a study into how organisations use this money. Four out of 10 said it had helped children and young people take part in sport that they otherwise could not afford to play.

In addition, 62% of associations said they had been able to purchase more equipment as a result of the Gräsroten campaign.

“For my part, I feel that Gräsroten is more than just a sponsorship initiative. It’s so much bigger,” Svenska Spel president and chief executive Patrick Hoffbauer said. “I dare to say that during these ten years we and our customers have made it possible for more children and young people to play sports in playful ways and meet new friends.

“Gräsroten is thus an important addition to the association’s coffers and, by extension, contributes to a better society, because children and young people should have the opportunity to move and have fun together regardless of where in the country they live.”

Last month, Svenska Spel announced that it had recorded gaming revenue of SEK1.95bn in the third quarter of the year, down by 0.9%, amid calls for its services to be broken up.

Much of this revenue – SEK490m – came from Svenska Spel’s sport and casino segment, which competes in the licensed sector and is the arm of the business that critics have said should be sold. This was 6.8% less than in Q3 2021.

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