Student awarded elite sports scholarship at Idrottsgalan

The JTH student Jesper Johansson at Idrottsgalan.

The JTH student Jesper Johansson (in glasses in the middle of the picture) on stage together with the other elite sports scholarship recipients at Idrottsgalan in Friends Arena. Photo: Susanne Gunnarsson

Jesper Johansson, student at the School of Engineering (JTH) at Jönköping University (JU), was one of 50 students who were awarded the elite sports scholarship for 2023/24 at Idrottsgalan in Friends Arena on 22 January.

“Really cool and a great honour,” says Jesper Johansson, who competes in canoe sprint.

Jesper Johansson, JTH student.

Jesper Johansson was awarded the elite sports scholarship for 2023/24 at Idrottsgalan in Friends Arena on 22 January.

Each year the Swedish Sports Confederation (Riksidrottsförbundet) and Svenska Spel award a scholarship of SEK 50,000 to 50 Swedish students who combine elite sports and higher education. Jesper Johansson studies Product Development and Design at JTH and trains at the Swedish Canoe Association’s Elite Center JKPG.

"Special Experience"

The scholarship recipients were present throughout the entire Sports Gala. They sat next to the other athletes and, like them, received a three-course dinner.

"We had great places just five meters from Daniel Ståhl (hammer throw), Armanand Duplantis (pole vault) and both Prince Daniel and Prince Carl Philip. I saw that I appeared in the picture when they were filming in our direction, but I don't know if anyone back home noticed it, says Jesper Johansson and laughs.

He also saw several canoeists at the gala and thought it was fun to see them dressed up instead of in training clothes. He says that it was a great feeling to go up on stage and receive the elite sports scholarship from Patrik Hofbauer, CEO Svenska Spel.

"It was a special experience that I won't soon forget, says Jesper Johansson.

"Inspiration to go on"

He practices two or three canoe sessions per day and around 20 hours a week in Munksjön, close by Jönköping University. He mentions that it is often difficult to combine university studies with elite sport, but that things like this, such as receiving the elite sports scholarship and participating in the Sports Gala, give him inspiration to go on.

"Then I'm going to Spain for a training camp on January 28 and that also provides motivation, you must have your sights set on the target and know that training gives result, says Jesper Johansson.

The scholarship means a lot for his investment in canoe sprint. He will use the money for camp costs, materials, and everyday expenses. He competes for Karlstad Paddlarklubb and is selected for the Swedish Canoe Association's U23 training group for 2023/24. His long-term goal is the 2028 Olympics.

Jesper Johansson, JTH student.

Jesper Johansson usually trains at Munksjön, but when there is ice there, he can use paddle machines in a training room at Kålgården in Jönköping.


The elite sports scholarship of SEK 50,000 is intended to create good conditions for the athletes so that Swedish sports can achieve more sporting successes internationally. The Swedish Sports Confederation and Svenska Spel also want to provide better conditions for those active in elite sports active at national team level to have a good life both during and after their sports career.