On 4 April 2019, the Faroese Confederation of Sports Ítróttarsamband Føroyar, celebrated its 80th birthday. The occasion was marked by an official event in the capital, Tórshavn. Speakers included Prime Minister, Aksel V. Johannesen, Culture and Sports Minister, Høgni Hoydal, Mayor of Tórshavn, Annika Olsen, and Faroese Confederation of Sports and Olympic Committee President, Elin Heðinsdóttir Joensen. All four speakers have previously represented the Faroe Islands in one or more sports. Former Presidents of the Faroese Confederation of Sports and Olympic Committee (FCSOC) and leading sports figures also attended.
The birthday event was marked with an exhibition celebrating the association’s 80-year history and the great progress made in Faroese sport.
Some of FCSOC’s main accomplishments include the establishment of the Faroese Olympic Committee in 1982, participation in every Paralympic Games since 1984 (in which the Faroes have won 13 medals), membership in eight International Federations and the transformation and investment in grass roots and community sport in recent years.
Jon Hestoy, Vice President of the Faroese Confederation of Sports and Olympic Committee, spoke at the ceremony. He said: “Senior politicians, including the Faroese Prime Minister, are here today celebrating the 80th birthday of our Sports Confederation and the huge role sport plays in the Faroe Islands. Our sport’s journey over the last 80 years has been phenomenal and particularly rapid over the past decade. We’ve seen international success, major investment in facilities and huge growth in community sport. We certainly hope that as our campaign for Olympic recognition continues to gain traction, the future of Faroese sport will be even brighter in the years ahead.”
In addition to the 80th birthday celebration, sport clubs across the country opened their doors to the public on 6 April, celebrated globally as the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace. The aim of the initiative was to offer people, regardless of age or gender, the opportunity to try taster sessions in sports they may not have tried previously.
The Faroe Islands has been a self-governing region of the Kingdom of Denmark since 1948 and competes in the Olympic Games as Denmark. The Faroe Islands has campaigned for Olympic recognition for more than 40 years.
The Faroese Confederation of Sports was established in 1939 and its Olympic Committee in 1982.
18,000 Faroese are members of sports clubs, which are driven and overseen by the FCSOC.
Words: Levi Hanssen
This article was originally published on Faroeislands.fo