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Tartu has a unique cultural life. The city is an ideal environment for people engaged with professional, folk and alternative culture. Tartu is home to interesting museums as well as theatres and concert halls with diverse repertoires. Interesting and exciting festivals take place all year round. Thanks to Tartu’s top athletes and major sports events, the city’s sports life is also well-known beyond Estonia’s national borders.

Department of Culture

+372 736 1360

Raekoja plats 12, 51004 Tartu

Sports in Tartu
Sports grants
Acknowledgements in sports

Sports in Tartu

Tartu is a sports-friendly, active city that holds around 250 sports events each year. Recreational sports events organised under the aegis of Tartu Maraton, Tour of Estonia cycling races and the Miss Valentine gymnastics and group gymnastics tournament are also known at the international level. Every year, the City of Tartu selects its finest athletes and trainers. Young and leading athletes from Tartu achieve good results in international and national competitions in individual and team events.


In the past few years, Tartu has seen the construction of a number of new sports facilities and renovated old ones. The city has revamped football fields and built tracks for recreational sports activities. Together with the University of Tartu, the city has launched a project in schools to support children’s physical activity.


  • For up-to-date information about sports events taking place in Tartu, see the portal Kultuuriaken

  • Click here for more information on sports clubs in Tartu

Photo by Juhan Voolaid
Photo by Juhan Voolaid

Last changed 21.01.2020

Grant for private sports clubs and sports schools

The purpose of this grant is to develop recreational and competitive sports activities in Tartu as well as to improve people’s knowledge of sports in order to ensure the physical and mental fitness of residents of Tartu, especially young people.


The grant is awarded to sports clubs and sports schools that are members of the Estonian Olympic Committee through various sports associations and federations and actively work to promote recreational and competitive sports in Tartu.


You can submit an application in the online environment www.tartu.ee/kotoetused. The site is in Estonian.

Photo by Heikki Leis
Photo by Heikki Leis

Grant for talented young athletes

Sports clubs can apply for a one-off grant for a talented youngster (the ‘jackpot’) aged 14-23 who:

  • is a member of the Estonian national team in their age group;

  • has participated or is participating in international competitions as a member of the national team; and lives in Tartu according to the Estonian population register.

You can submit an application in the online environment www.tartu.ee/kotoetused. The site is in Estonian.

Grant for sports projects

The purpose of this grant is to:

  • promote a healthy lifestyle and increase the number of people engaging in recreational sports activities;

  • support the occurrence of professional sports events in Tartu in order to provide professional athletes with a place to compete and enable audiences to attend sports events as a form of attractive entertainment;

  • showcase different sports primarily to children and young people by organising championships and school cup tournaments in Tartu;

  • create opportunities for Tartu’s athletes to participate in international competitions and promote partnerships with sister cities; and

  • support professional teams of traditional sports.

The grant is awarded on the basis of a corresponding application for sports projects planned for the following year.

Tartu’s scholarship for prospective Olympians

Tartu’s scholarship for prospective Olympians is targeted at leading athletes in Tartu who are among possible candidates to participate in the Olympics or whose development and achievements display Olympic potential. The scholarship is designed to be used to improve the athlete’s future training process, to enable them to take part in competitions and to purchase sporting equipment.


You can submit an application in the online environment www.tartu.ee/kotoetused. The site is in Estonian.

Last changed 08.04.2017

Honorary titles in the field of sports

Honorary titles are awarded by the City of Tartu to recognise outstanding sports achievements during a particular year.

Honorary titles are bestowed in the following categories: Athlete of the Year (male); Athlete of the Year (female); Young Athlete of the Year (male); Young Athlete of the Year (female); Team of the Year; Trainer of the Year; and Sports Deed of the Year.

All sports organisations operating in Tartu can nominate people for honorary titles at least one month before the ceremony marking the end of the sports year. A committee of no fewer than five members works to compare and assess the nominees’ achievements.

The winners are recognised at a ceremony marking the end of the sports year in December and their names are added to the Book of Honours dedicated to the city’s best athletes.


Best athletes of 2016


  • Athlete of the Year (male): Rasmus Mägi (track and field).
  • Athlete of the Year (female): Julia Beljajeva (fencing).
  • Young Athletes of the Year: Kregor Zirk (swimming) and Margit Kalk (track and field).
  • Team of the Year: Perfetto (female group gymnastics team from the Rütmika gymnastics club).
  • Trainers of the Year: Anne & Taivo Mägi (trainers of Rasmus Mägi).
  • Sports Deed of the Year: Seven international championship medals won by the Tartu Kalev water motorsports club.
  • The committee also recognised the project “Trio to Rio” fronted by marathon-running triplets the Luik sisters.

Click here to view the best athletes from previous years

Last changed 08.04.2017