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SM-veckan: a history of professionalisation, management and competition
Malmö University, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Sport Sciences (IDV).
2023 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Introduction and research design

SM-veckan is a biannual sport event at which different Swedish sports since 2009 havebundled their national championships. The participting sports are mainly an ever-changing selection of smaller sports and a selection of “main sports”, which are to be guaranteed a spot at the event. The group of main sports has historically included among other sports swimming in the summer and skiing in the winter. The aim of this study is to analyse and discuss the development of SM-veckan from 2009 to 2023 and its role in the recent history of Swedish sport. The discussion is based on an analysis of inter alia the event’s structure, its stakeholders and number of participating sports. The data for the study includes newspapers and documents from and interviews with the host municipalities, sports federations, the Swedish Sport Confederation (RF) and the Swedish public broadcaster (SVT). The study is part of a two-year research project (2023-2025) and the presentation will present and discuss preliminary results from a part of the project. The project is financed by the Swedish Research Council for Sport Science (Centrum för Idrottsforskning).

Analysis:

The analysis so far has shown that SM-veckan since 2009 has changed remarkably little in terms of its organisation as well as in terms of key personnel. The main changes seem to have been the implementation of routines to make the event run more smoothly rather than new and radical reforms or adaptations. Changes have inter alia included the decision to stage SM-veckan even in the same years as the Olympic Games, a decrease in numbers of participating sports and to loosen the criteria for the host cities with regard to the sportfacilities the city must be able to provide for the main sports.

Concluding discussion:

The limited development of SM-veckan on the one hand indicate that the event fulfils the demands of the sports and municipalities (the “buyers”). That said, the changes that have occurred nevertheless show that the event has developed. Letting the event for instance take place in Olympic years and loosen the requirements host cities for instance suggest that event is on a path of increasing independence from the main sports. However, the decision to limit the number of participating sports indicates that the event faces other limits with regard to the size of the event. In a wider historical perspective, SM-veckan’s history links to the divide in Sweden betweenthe few sports that have profited from television and the rest. Studying SMV thus adds to our understanding of media sport history and the history of smaller sport federations in Sweden. In the future, it will be interesting to see if SMV proves durable even without a stable group of “main sports” as host cities starts to exploit the offered flexibility.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2023.
National Category
History
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-63704OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mau-63704DiVA, id: diva2:1811791
Conference
Baltic Sports History Congress 2023, 8-9 December, Jyvskylä, Finland and Zoom
Funder
Swedish National Centre for Research in Sports, FO2023-59Available from: 2023-11-14 Created: 2023-11-14 Last updated: 2023-12-08Bibliographically approved

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Jensen, Christian Tolstrup

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Citation style
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