Varalan Urheiluopisto

Liiku luonnon helmassa keskellä Tamperetta

Varala Sports Institute


Varala is a pioneer among sports institutes in Finland; it was founded in 1909 to be a gymnastics centre for women. Today Varala Sports Institute is a versatile and active sport and education centre that is open to everyone.

The operational principle of Varala Sports Institute is inclusive: from physical education of preschoolers to physical activity of the aged, and from vocational education in physical education to education for coaches in top-level sports.

Varala Sports Institute operates under the authority of the Ministry of Education and is owned by the Varala Foundation.

Varala is located in Tampere - next to the world's tallest gravel ridge Pyynikinharju, on the shore of Lake Pyhäjärvi and only three kilometres from Tampere city centre.

The Institute has 68 permanent employees and additional 140 part-time instructors.

Accommodation quarters and educational and sport facilities are all located in close proximity to one another. It is also easy to utilise the sport facilities of the City of Tampere (ice halls, swimming halls, indoor athletics hall), which are all located within a 15 minute drive from Varala.

The Varala area has preserved a certain feeling of the old days. The original building of the Institute was factory owner Liljeroos's villa, which is open today as Villa Varala for meetings and party lounges. There is a museum floor with epoque rooms and old sport accessories. The sports museum is open on demand.

Educational offerings and courses at Varala Sports Institute include: 

  • vocational qualification in physical education, 120 credits (physical education assistant) 
  • preparatory education, basic course in physical education, 20 credits 
  • vocational further education for swimming hall and spa staff, 20 credits 
  • folk dance instructor course, 15 credits 
  • sports for children course, 4 credits 
  • courses in fitness and health-promoting exercise 
  • recreational courses for families 
  • sports courses for children and young people 
  • fitness theme days for companies 

Varala Sports Institute conducts a sports play school for small children and a sports school for school-aged children. Approximately 350 children take part in these schools weekly.

In addition, we conduct instructor and coach education in co-operation with various sports associations. Our closest partners are the Finnish Judo Association, Finnish Volleyball Association, Finnish Swimming Association, Finnish Amateur Athletic Association, Finnish Sport divers Association and Finnish Gymnastics and Fitness Association.

Varala Sports Institute also has a Testing and Consultancy Centre that is a service unit for exercise testing and research in the areas of fitness, sport and physical activity.

Welcome to enjoy the active atmosphere at Varala!

Contact us
Sales +358 3 2631 211, open mon-fri 9.00-16.00

Varala Sports Institute
Varalankatu 36

All payment cards are accepted (No Diners).