Olympic games in Lund .
The Idea arose in the mid-1970s within Idrottsringen – an organization consisting of four sports clubs: Lugi Handboll, IK Eos, Lund’s IS and Lund’s FF.
Idrottsringen was founded in 1974. The triggering event was when Lund’s FF was denied membership in Samorganisationen, consisting of six sports clubs. Arne Hansson, the chairman of the football club in those days, then contacted Lugi Handboll and IK Eos . The result was Idrottsringen. As a first contribution each club invested 500 kronor. In addition the new organization took a bank loan of 15 000 swedish kronor. A year later, 1975, the ice-hockey club Lund’s IS became the fourth member.
Bingo, lotteries and Advent calendars
The purpose of Idrottsringen was to raise money for the activities of the four clubs. The basic idea was – the more clubs cooperating the better the possibility to earn money. Bingo, spring fairs, lotteries and sales of Advent calendars (Christmas) were some of Idrottsringens activities.
One of those who initiated Lundaspelen was Lars-Erik ”Peggy” Larsson of IK Eos. On the fourth of August 1978, in the capacity of chairman of Idrottsringen, he wrote a letter to the municipality of Lund. The aim was to get access to the sports centres, classrooms and canteens required to carry through Lundaspelen.
"The members of Idrottsringen have, for a long time, wanted to host a tournament. However, this kind of tournament requires access to officials which is why a non-profit organization cannot take the full responsibility. Within Idrottsringen, we are now prepared to put our joint coaching resources at the disposal of Lundaspelen."
In his letter Lars-Erik Larsson also describes the purpose of Lundaspelen.
"With Lundaspelen Idrottsringen hope to be able to offer international tournaments which enable the young people in Lund to establish sports connections across the borders."
But how was Lundaspelen to be effected? As initially mentioned, the thought of Idrottsringen was to organize some kind of Olympic games in team games for young people, where handball, ice-hockey, basketball and football would be on the programme.
No sooner said than done. Between the 27th and the 30th of December 1978 the first edition of Lundaspelen involving handball was organized. At the same time there was an ice-hockey tournament. Those were followed by a basketball tournament between the 3rd and the 6th of January . Further on the football tournament was added. However, it discontinued in 1982 only to reoccur 27 years later. The ice-hockey tournament did not last for long.
The basketball and handball tournaments continued, however, and have grown throughout the years. As a matter of fact Lundaspelen 2020 was the 42nd basketball tournament in consecutive order.
Contacts over the borders
For many years now IK Eos has been the organizer of the basketball tournament. The late Lars-Erik Larsson and Gunnar Persson both played important roles in the tournament. Another major key person is Peter Kozak, who was the Chief Organizer of Lundaspelen for thirty years and still is a member of the management team.
It all started with the dream of a couple of volunteers: to give young people involved in sports opportunities to get to know each other, establish connections across borders and to give them memories for life. This dream is still vivid – for the officials, the coaches and the players. It is and will remain the core of the tournament and the phenomenon Lundaspelen.