• Hafn12Mars

Rewarding to see the kids happy

22. Mar 2021

In the summer of 2020, a special project was created with the aims to increase the participation of children of foreign origin in sports and leisure activities. Hvaleyrarskóli has a diverse group of students and they hired an employee for the project, Einar Karl Ágústsson, who is also a sports coach. He handles the project, together with Steinar Stephensen, head of department, in parallel with other assignments. 

The newspaper Hafnfirðingur met them and one happy student, the Polish Damian Tomalak, who practices swimming in Suðurbæjarlaug, at Sundfélag Hafnarfjörður (SH).

Hafn12MarsIYou can also apply for a leisure grant to pay for music studies. Photo/OBÞ

Rewarding to see the kids happy

Today, about 13-14 children from Poland, the Philippines and Thailand, aged 6-12, are active in sports with the introduction of this project. They are accompanied if needed, personal assistance is provided if there are any obstacles in the way and will hopefully have a long-term impact on the well-being of the children and their participation. "It is very rewarding to see e.g. some kids who practice swimming twice a week; two girls and two boys. One girl is very happy and she is doing very well. She was soon moved up in training, "says Steinar.

Hafn12Mars3It is very rewarding to see e.g. some kids who practice swimming twice a week Photo/Eva Ágústa Aradóttir

The follow-up is most important 

Steinar says that the project is very good, but the most important thing is the follow-up. "Kids often start sports or leisure activities and show great interest in them to begin with, but then the interest often decrease as time goes on”.  It is important that the children do something after school, meet other kids and communicate in Icelandic. "Hopefully this will spread gradually and more kids will take part. The offer of sports and leisure is so diverse in Hafnarfjörður.  The offer of activities is great but the cost varies and even have waiting lists. The leisure shuttle is an example of a great initiative. The children come straight from their after school leisure centers and take the after school  shuttle to practice and then they also attend more frequently".

Hafn12Mars4Steinar and Einar Karl have good connections with the two largest sports clubs in Hafnarfjörður FH and Haukar. Photo / OBÞ

The interview was published in Hafnfirðingur on March 9, 2021 and is done in collaboration with Hafnarfjörður municipality.

Cover photo / OBÞ: Einar Karl Ágústsson, Damian Tomalak and Steinar Stephensen.

More information about sports and leisure activities

List of sport societies in Hafnarfjörður

A monthly grant from Hafnarfjarðarbær for reduction of the membership fees is kr. 4,500 for each participant aged 6-18 years

The Icelandic government's measures in response to the Covid19 pandemic include support for children's recreational activities. This support is granted to the families of children born 2005-2014, living in homes where the average income of supporters, individuals, married or in registered partnership, was lower than 740.000 ISK per month between March and July 2020. Special sport and leisure activity grants

Come along! Sports for all
The Icelandic Youth Association (UMFÍ) and The National Olympic and Sport Association (ÍSÍ) have published a new brochure with information of the operations of the youth and sports organizations in Iceland. The brochure contains information about organized sporting activities, the benefits of exercise, participation fees at sports clubs and leisure subsidies and parental participation.