Helsinki prepares special celebration for World League


The Finland men's national team interacted with junior players before the start of the second weekend of the FIVB Volleyball World League Group 2 action in Helsinki

Helsinki, Finland, June 7, 2017 – The Finnish Volleyball Federation has prepared a special celebration for the home team on the second week of the FIVB Volleyball World League Group 2 competition, where they will host Slovakia, China and Australia at Hartwall Arena from June 8 to 10.

World League

On Tuesday, the national federation had a unique press conference, where national team players practised together with the local junior players at Toolo Sports Hall. The media had the opportunity to interview and take photos with their stars enjoying with the young players.

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“We want to do things which give us energy,” Finland coach Tuomas Sammelvuo said. “This is surely one of them.”

The national federation will organise the world’s biggest tournament for junior teams at Myyrmaki Vantaa, a city which is only 15 minutes away from Helsinki. The event boasts massive participation of 865 junior teams, which consist of 7,000 athletes. These junior athletes will have free access to the World League matches, which will hopefully break the attendance record of 6,285, which was set during the match of Finland and Brazil in Tampere on July 4, 2009.

“It will be great to play in Hartwall Arena,” Sammelvuo said. “For us this is the first time to play in Finland in that kind of big competition hall, which has a capacity of 13,000. Together with the junior players and fans, it will be a memorable event.”

World League

Finland started their 2017 World League campaign with three defeats in Korea, but they are out to show their best and take their first victory of the season in front of their home crowd.

After their successful stint in the World Championship qualification tournament in the Czech Republic town of Karlovy Vary, Sammelvuo had to change five players in the roster.

“We will have that same roster when we play in Helsinki,” Sammelvuo explained. “Now I have added opposite Urpo Sivula, who previously had a minor leg injury, but now he is back in good shape.”

For the Finns, the home tournament is always something very special. Middle blocker Sauli Sinkkonen sees this event on home soil as a way of thanking the fans for their support.

“We hope we are great role models for the junior players and that they can gain good energy to pursue playing volleyball,” Sinkkonen said. “Our fans are always travelling with us all over the world, so we owe them to play all our best on one weekend at home court.”

Finland will face Slovakia on Thursday, then will take on China and Australia on Friday and Saturday, respectively.

“We will fight in every rally until the end,” Sinkkonen said. “We will never give up even in difficult situations.”


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