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Hey coach!

September 24, 2015

I used to coach girls wrestling in Ontario before I moved to Finland.

I’ve been here nearly 17 years and I have finally taken another step – I am enrolled in Level 1 coaching training with the Finnish Ringette Association. Now that it looks like the Little Miss is going to stick with the sport for awhile, I will follow along. Right now, I have the great advantage of heading out on the ice with her and her teammates at practice – and while I butcher the Finnish language very well, the kids can handle that. 🙂 (I am also glad they call me by name and not “Coach.”)

The level one coaching training has been so popular over the last few years that it has been hard to get a place with the training group.

So I was pretty happy when the head of ringette coaching in Espoo got me into the course. Matti Virtanen has been with the Finnish Ringette Association for a long time. He has been acting as the Coaching and Education Director since 1998 and is leading us through the Level 1 course. It was very nice to put a face to a name after all this time.

The training took place out at Kisakallio Sports Institute out in Lohja. Our course fees also include food and lodging, and I can say this: Kisakallio does its best to make sure you’ve been fed! Anyways, we had a few hours of exercises on Friday night and Saturday morning and then we attended the first ever Finnish Ringette Coaches seminar, which drew over 35 participants from the national team level all the way down to coaches of the youngest players. We were privileged to meet Sini Forsblom of the International Ringette Federation, Lauri Karhunen from Jokerit and Marja Miettinen, one of Finland’s most prolific coaches in basketball.



The thing that pleased me most about this weekend was that I managed with the Finnish. I did have some help from a coach from Nurmijärvi when I got stuck, but I did it – listened, commented and presented in Finnish. The remaining two modules of this coaching training will be held in October and December. I’m looking forward to it!

And on the coaching front here in Espoo, the head of all ringette coaches in Espoo is spurring the rest of us on with various ideas on how to promote the sport and getting the coaching crew to work together. We’re being challenged to do various things – like inviting other coaches to our practices and writing up tournament and game reports (which I just finished doing). Every team is supposed to go and watch a couple of National league games this season, and in fact there is one this Saturday in Espoo. The World Ringette Championships are coming up and we’ll be involved on that front as well. The future of ringette is good in Espoo, we just need to get the game out there.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. anonymous permalink
    September 25, 2015 9:06 am

    FYI, the first two photos share a link.

    • September 25, 2015 10:38 am

      ? What do you mean? (Edit: Never mind – got it – I’ll try and fix it.)

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