Sports and recreation
In sports sector we support the development of the youth sport, focusing on skiing and motosport. We also support the projects contributing to the creating of the possibilities for sporting and active vacation for many people.
Merko values sport and healthy lifestyle. In 2004 the company established SA Eesti Terviserajad (Estonian Health Trails) together with Swedbank and Eesti Energia. The aim of the project is to adjust and develop the exercise and sports tracks of Estonia to ensure the availability of the year-round and free possibility for active exercise in nature for all interested people and popularize the sporty lifestyle. There are currently more than 100 health tracks with more than 900 kilometres worth of maintained and mostly illuminated trails. Read the Estonian Health Trails supplement on Issuu.
In 2012 the foundation Eesti Terviserajad (Estonian Health Trails) won an International Olympic Committee (ROK) prize – Sports and Environment. The total of over 23 million euros has been invested to the project of health tracks within the period of 2004-2013. The project is supported by three companies and also by foundation Eesti Terviserajad, local municipalities, Ministry of Culture and European Union.
For many years, Merko has supported Estonian skiing with the goal of making its contribution to the development of top athletes and to use their role model to encourage more people in Estonia to get active. For 10 years, Merko was the cooperation partner of the Estonian Ski Association, supporting the national Nordic ski team and junior team.
From 2015, Merko is supporting MTÜ Team Haanja, a non-profit founded at the initiative of eight skiers. The project is aimed at helping young athletes make it into the international elite and allow the current strong skiers to remain internationally competitive, contributing to fostering conditions for training facilities in line with modern requirements. Team Haanja comprises eight athletes: national team members Triin Ojaste, Algo Kärp, Raido Ränkel, Aivar Rehemaa, Karel Tammjärv and U23/junior team members Marko Kilp, Alvar Johannes Alev and Andreas Veerpalu.
Estonian tennis is currently in a better place than it has ever been at any time in its previous 100 and more years, at both professional and amateur level. Merko has entered into a three-year cooperation agreement with the Estonian Tennis Federation, which is targeted at supporting the organisation of tournaments for top adult tennis players and international competitions through contributing to the development of Jürgen Zopp and the organisation of the Merko Estonian Open in Pärnu. Click to open Merko Estonian Open 2015 photo gallery.
In 2014 Merko supports Estonian formula driver Martin Rump who is participating in Formula Renault Eurocup motor racing championship. At the “Estonian Autosport Stars 2013” award gala Rump was recognised with three awards: Best Racing Driver, Ants Seiler´s award “Best formula driver in international arena” and Toivo Asmer´s award “Best newcomer in the formula series”. In 2013 Merko supported Estonian racing driver Kevin Korjus who is participating in the GP3 Series, meant for young drivers and working as a feeder for the GP2 and to the Formula1 series.
Merko has supported also international ITF-series tennis tournament Merko Open 2011 which took place in Tere tennis centre in Tondi on 18-23 July 2011. Jürgen Zopp, Estonian number one male tennis player, played his only single tournament at home this summer at the 15,000-dollar tournament.