SFP’s Member of Parliament and Vice Chair Sandra Bergqvist took part in a panel discussion on the significance of leisure activities for children and adolescents last Tuesday. The panel was arranged by the Guides and Scouts of Finland together with the Scout Parliamentary Union.
“Children and adolescents having at least one meaningful hobby is a pre-emptive action that helps to keep them on a good path through life. We put a lot of effort into ensuring children receive the right kind of education; the same should apply to leisure activities,” Bergqvist says.
The Finnish Model for Leisure Activities was written into law during this parliamentary term, but it has met with challenges in the form of a lack of instructors and differences in implementation between municipalities.
“It is great that the Finnish Model has finally become a reality. It’s something SFP has long been supporting. No model is perfect from the start, however, so we must now gather positive experiences from the model so that it can be developed further during the next term. Different regions have different capabilities for arranging the activities, and children’s preferences as to the hobbies in which they want to engage vary. This is important to consider,” Bergqvist says.
Bergqvist stresses the fact that skills acquired during leisure time should be better taken into account in studies and at work.
“Any hobby at all will give you valuable competence, as well as useful social skills. Proactiveness in leisure activities should be taken into account in student admissions and workplace recruitment, for example. The preconditions for children’s leisure activities must be reinforced even further in the next government programme,” Bergqvist concludes.