“Vector Sport” cross-border cooperation project held the first international sport event in the framework of its project plan! This event was Taipalsaari triathlon organized in Saimaa region by local sport organizations and public authorities.
Taipalsaari triathlon is quickly growing sport event that attracts amateurs and professionals from all around Finland. The sport part of the event includes the series are duathlon and triathlon. The competing categories involve men and women, as well as boys and girls aged less than 19 years old. The race route follows the nice Lake Saimaa views with the relevant distances equals to 750m/20km/5km and 400m/10km/5km.
This event was included into cross- border cooperation project plan as the one that could be potentially interested to Russian triathlon athletes that were known for their active involvement into various triathlon competitions! In addition to that, the close proximity to Russian border, excellent venue conditions, and good level of competition and high standards of organization were perceived as the key factors for the success of this sport event! Moreover, the cross-border context of the project could foster the internalization of Taipalsaari triathlon event and stimulate its further development the region.
Therefore, the partners of Vector Sport project united their forces to support the region and Taipalsaari triathlon on their way to internalization and promoted it among Saint-Petersburg triathlon athletes. The Committee of Sport and Physical Culture of Saint-Petersburg was in charge of Russian athletes’ delegation and coordinated all the operational issues related to the event. ESLI as the lead partner of cross- border project “Vector Sport” and its regional partner EKLU were involved in the whole preparation and realization process.
As a result of such partner cooperation, the event became a successful case of cross-border cooperation sport tourism that involved regional sport federations, public authorities, sport clubs and business society for the realization of such sport event! Russian athletes demonstrated excellent performance and completed the race successfully! Finnish athletes were able to compete on international level and challenge themselves for new milestones!
Additionally, the sport part of Taipalsaari triathlon was supported with relevant business meetings between regional sport and tourism organizations, SMEs representatives that were serving to the success of sport event! Such SMEs and regional organizations of Saimaa region as Pitopalvelu Ella-Biija Pekurinen and hotel Lakehouse Saimaa were actively integrated into this sport event and admitted its value in their further development. Also, “Vector Sport” project team held a meeting with the representatives of Base Camp and regional tourism organization of Imatra in order to discuss the potentials of sport tourism and its impact on regional development and economy. The Russian delegation was represented by the Deputy Head of Sport Committee of Saint-Petersburg that shared his vision and perspective of cross- border cooperation in the field of sport tourism. All parties agreed to continue active cooperation and enhance the sport tourism collaboration through join sport events and related business activities both in Finland and in Russia!