Sports and recreational pursuits

Studies show that the participation of children and adolescents in organised recreational activities, under the direction of a responsible instructor, is of preventive value and gives them a feeling of physical and mental wellbeing.


  • In various places around the country children and adolescents participate in sports, and attend music school, dance lessons and a variety of courses that frequently inspire them with further interest in attending these functions.
  • Some local communities subsidise the participation fees for sports activities, and for art and youth work for its younger residents. The rules that apply to these subsidies differ among the local communities. Further information can be obtained from the websites of the local communities.
  • The National Olympic and Sports Association of Iceland, ÍSÍ, is the general organisation of the sporting movement in Iceland. 
  • According to the Sports Act, Iceland is divided into sports and athletics regions, and in each of these there is either one regional organisation or a sports federation of all the sports associations in the region.
  • Within ÍSÍ there are many special federations of sports associations and sports committees.
  • There are many scouts associations operating in Iceland.
  • Many of the Red Cross local societies offer programmes for children and adolescents.
  • ICE-SAR the Icelandic Association for Search and Rescue (Slysavarnarfélagið Landsbjörg) operates youth departments.
  • Music schools in Iceland are operated by the local communities and by private parties. Their websites provide information regarding their activities and music education, as well as application forms.
  • Ballet teaching in Iceland is delivered by private parties.
  • Many primary schools operate school orchestras. The school websites provide further information concerning the orchestras.
  • Chess is played by people of all ages in Iceland.
  • Most religious associations offer children's activities and work with young people, both within as well as outside the national church.
  • The larger local communities offer summer courses for children. In these courses a range of interesting subjects are tackled. Information concerning these courses can be obtained from the websites of the local communities, sports associations and community centres.
  • Staffed playgrounds are operated in the majority of the larger municipalities during summer. They are intended for younger children, and age limits vary. Further information can be obtained from the municipal websites.

Links of interest