In this post I would like to write about Finnish clubs and societies where you can spend your free time and practice hobbies in arts or sport. It is usual in Finland that people have some activities in their free time outside their work and home. Some practice sports, others practice arts or languages, and so on. People usually go to clubs to practice their hobbies.
I sing in a choir and I practice aikido – these are my free time activities. I have learned that usually in Finland hobby clubs are organizations or societies with their own board of directors and administration. This is something new for me because I have never seen that a place where you can practice your hobby would be so official. A club is usually a registered organization and the board of directors consists of club members. The board is responsible for the club’s activities and strategic development. For instance, board decides about promotions, establishes prices and rules, takes care and reviews the economic situation. Clubs must have a statute – official club regulations. These regulations determine when and how often the board of directors must organize meetings and when there are new elections. Those who are interested to serve in the board of directors inform about it. In addition, societies are usually non-profit and can apply for a financial aid for development. For that, they need to have all activities on papers.
For instance, in aikido there are common meeting for all members and the board twice a year, and each month there are meetings for board of directors. Every year we assign new roles. Usually hobby organizations have a chairperson, secretary, financial manager, financial inspectors and deputy members. Every meeting the secretary makes a protocol in which s/he writes the meeting’s agenda, attendees, decisions and assigned roles and tasks. For instance, tasks are who checks the protocol after the meeting and makes corrections, who takes care of advertisement, who adds new participants to the list of members, and so on.
Besides hobby practicing there is also an official side of the coin – a Finnish hobby club’s organizational workings is somehow alike governmental party working. Oh yes, hobby club’s meetings also have a party after the official part. Usually there are tea/coffee, snacks, and in many cases, there is a sauna.