It is important that the voice of young people is heard in the Finnish Coaches Association. A good example of this is that at the last board meeting of the association, the committees for 2021 were discussed, and each will have a representative from the Young Coaches team. This will ensure that the perspectives of young coaches are also taken into account in the decision-making processes.
Figure skating coach Siiri Turunen, who is part of the Young Coaches team, explains why she is involved.
- I joined the Finnish Coaches’ Association in 2017, inspired by my colleagues. Back then, as a 17-year-old at the beginning of my coaching career, I wanted to become a part of this coaching community that I had heard a lot of good things about, and of course the various membership benefits and training offers by the association raised my interest and the desire to join. I have not regretted joining for a single day!
- For young coaches, the Finnish Coaches Association offers numerous tools to support one’s own coaching work as well as a unique community that provides support and ideas for coaching. The best aspects of membership for myself are the versatile and up-to-date education trainings and the Coach magazine, which finds its way into my mailbox five times a year! You do not need to be a professional coach or have ten years of coaching experience to become a member of the Finnish Coaches Association. The more diverse our community of Finnish coaches is, the more we can give to each other and at the same time to Finnish sports, Turunen points out.
Turunen sees it as an excellent thing that the association wants to involve young people in developing its activities.
- I think it’s great that the Young Coaches team was set up to include the standpoints of young coaches. I have tried to activate young coaches in my daily work to become part of the Finnish Coaches Association and it is great to see that also the association is involving young coaches actively in the development of their activities as well as in the decision-making processes. The Finnish Coaches Association does valuable work for the appreciation of coaches, including young coaches. We young coaches are, of course, the best experts when it comes to matters concerning young coaches and are at the same time the doers of the future, says Turunen.
In 2019, a survey was conducted for members of the Finnish Coaches Association aged 18-28, with the purpose of mapping their thoughts on coaching and the association, so that the association could serve better to the needs of its young members. The questionnaire was well received and the answers were immediately used in the building of the new strategy. The survey also asked about the willingness to participate in a group of young coaches to help the association to produce various materials for the website and social media, to participate in organizing events and trainings, and to provide peer support to young people at the beginning of the coach's path.
Ten enthusiastic young coaches from different sports joined the group, they are the Young Coaches team.
Young Coaches team:
Elmo Myllyoja, floorball
Emmi Ruokonen, basketball
Laura Lajunen, swimming
Lempi Kokk, figure skating
Lilli Merinen, equestrian sports
Maria Nurmesjärvi, gymnastics
Minna-Maria Karonen, tennis
Siiri Turunen, figure skating
Viljami Hietanen, ice hockey