The Young

By doing varied youth work, the cross country unit of the Finnish Ski Association aims to provide every young person with the possibility to try and take up skiing. The objective is that with the help and support of the national training and competing system, every young skier could train according to his or her own abilities. We foster the principle of fair play, and see it vital that the people working among children and young people demonstrate ethical conduct in everything they do.

According to our philosophy, every child and young skier should be allowed to enjoy sport, feeling important and appreciated as he or she is. Skiing should be challenging and rewarding also for those not aiming at competitive excellence; children should be allowed to ski for the pure joy of it. Possibilities for children of all ages and abilities to enjoy skiing and sport are offered by about 600 ski clubs across the country.

The youth work is aimed at two separate age groups: children between the ages 12-15 (Hopeasompa group) and young people between the ages 16-17 (Habita group). In addition, several ski clubs organise ski schools for even younger children.

Hopeasompa (in Finnish: 'silver ski pole basket') is a common name for the training, coaching and competing of skiers 12-15 years of age. Ski clubs across the country organise Hopeasompa groups for their young skiers on different levels. Additionally, the cross country unit of the Finnish Ski Association, together with its partners, organises national training camps for the best Hopeasompa skiers. About 150 young athletes from three categories are invited to the camps. By organising these camps, the Finnish Ski Association wants to encourage young skiers to continue their training and support them along the way towards their ambitions.

The season of the young skiers climaxes every year in the Hopeasompa Finals, where the best national skiers of every category (12-, 13-, 14- and 15-year-olds) compete for the Hopeasompa Finals win. For the 15-year-olds, Hopeasompa Finals act as Finnish Championship races. The main partner of the Hopeasompa activities is Audi.

Habita group is a national squad for skiers 16-17 years of age. The squad of 60 young people from around the country is divided into four teams according to the athletes' place of residence or study; North, South, East and West. In addition to Finnish Championships, the squad's most important competitions are Nordic Championships, European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) and Youth Olympic Games (YOG).

For more information on our youth work, please contact:

Henna Sivenius
tel. +358 400 997 418