Walking Spark challenges every Finn to walk – 80 years since the National Match March

The Walking Spark campaign (4th May - 25th May) arranged by Suomen Latu and Tahko Pihkala Association challenges every Finn to walk in May. The Covid-19 pandemic has brought about a boom in outdoor activities and an increasing number of Finns have taken up jogging, hiking and other outdoor activities, which provide for excellent ways of staying fit and healthy in these exceptional times.

Walking Spark is a national campaign and will take place throughout the country. Anyone can arrange a local event free of charge, nor is there an entrance fee. We invite e.g. associations, clubs, municipalities and businesses to take action. Current recommendations and restrictions are naturally to be considered when arranging an event – luckily walking outdoors is an activity that works out fine in exceptional times, too.

Exactly 80 years ago a National Match March was arranged between Finland and Sweden, which sent the nations competing which one could encourage more people to walk. Finland won by a landslide. More than 1.5 million people joined in and compared to today's population the corresponding number would be 2.3 million. That is so far the largest fitness activity ever arranged in Finland. Even if Walking Spark would not grow to be quite as big, our aim is to encourage as many Finns to walk as possible. Can we reach one million walks?

In addition to individual events Walking Spark also allows you to collect walking kilometres throughout the spring and summer. So we invite organisations, municipalities, work places and private persons all alike to take part in this playful Walking Kilometre Competition, where the objective is to collect the biggest possible kilometre pot for your team. The competion is open and free of charge, and hosted by Helsingin Seudun Liikenne HSL and the Finnish Transport and Communicatins Agency Traficom. Walking Kilometre Competition sites (in Finnish)

The President of Finland, Mr Sauli Niinistö acts as the patron of the event.