'Expat Sports' in Finland
- Jump Down to:
- Sports & Sports Facilities
- Sports for Kids in Helsinki
- Australian Rules Football
- American Football
- Baseball & Softball
- Cycle Touring in Finland
- Fishing in Finland
- Yoga in English
- Thai Boxing
- Jolly Dragon
- Borgå Akilles - Porvoon Akilles Sports Club
- Bicycle Repairs & Sales
Cricket, rugby and American football in Finland?? It's true! You're bound to run into a bunch of expats if you join, or go and watch, any of the teams mentioned on this page.
See also: Finnish sports which lots of expats want to try, or at least watch!
Among other events and activities, Finterest helps you find sports and outdoor facilities Finland-wide in its Sports, Outdoors, and Nature sections. As listings appear, zoom in on the map of Finland for further details in the location of your choice, and links to the relevant websites.
www.finterest.fi - in 16 languages!
Wherever you are in Finland, finding your local sports facilities is easy. Each municipal web site has a Sports section listing local sports facilities, as well as activities and events for adults and children. To find your local web site see Expat Finland's page
City by City - Regional Sites by Local Authorities
The City of Helsinki Youth Department organises sports, outdoor activities, and a lot of other options for young people between 13 and 25 years old
www.hel.fi > In English > Departments > Youth Department
Jungle Kids Fitness offers a variety of sports classes in Espoo (near Iso Omena) for kids of any nationality from birth to 12 years of age, as well as karate for adults. All classes have instruction in English and Finnish. Everybody welcome!
Kids' Karate, Fun Gymnastics, Parent and Child Gym classes, Cheerleading classes for ages 5+, Pompon dance for ages 3-5, Children's Birthday Parties and more!
Address: Piispanportti 5, Espoo 02240 Map
Tel: 050 576 3492
Naturally we start with the best sport first! There are about 16 active clubs in the Finnish Rugby Federation, a big leap from 2001 when there were only two registered teams. At that point the game was played mainly by expats, but time has seen a lot of Finnish blokes getting involved in the sport; these days about two-thirds of players are Finns. The ladies have also joined in and recently gained prominence for themselves, and Finland, by comprehensively winning the FIRA European Championship Women's 7s, Group B, which earnt them a promotion to the European A Division. Legends!
If you join a rugby team, or just go and watch a game, you're likely to meet Aussies, Kiwis, Poms and other expat rugby players and followers from around the planet - some friendly rivalries! Apart from playing the game, rugby has a strong social tradition and you will undoubtedly find lots of social events on the calendar. Come one come all!
Finnish Rugby Federation
The head organisation's web site has a calendar of fixtures throughout Finland, a guide to rugby, contacts and links to clubs, news and more.
www.rugby.fi - En, Fi
Finnish Rugby Clubs (many with Ladies' teams too!)
- Espoo Espoo Rugby Club
- Hämeenlinna Linna Rugby Club
- Joensu Karjalan Rugby Club
- Jyväskylä Jyväskylä Rugby Club
- Kotka Griffins Rugby Club
- Kuopio Kuopio Rugby Club
- Pori Pori Rugby Club
- Porvoo Old Town Shamrocks Rugby Club
- Oulu OYUS Rugby
- Rauma Rauma Ice Pack
- Tampere Tampere Rugby Club
- Turku Eagles Rugby Football Club
- Vaasa Vaasa Wolves
Refereeing can be a great way to give back to the sport and help to promote its development at grass-roots level. For those with personal ambitions, refereeing in a 'small rugby country' like Finland can also quickly mean officiating at Championship level, being sent on exchange to foreign countries, and even involvement in international matches. If you would like to get involved in refereeing in Finland or would simply like more information, please get in touch.
www.rugby.fi/referees Finland Rugby Referees Association (FRRA) - En, Fi
'Aussie rules' in Finland kicked off in 2007 with two official teams in domestic competition, the Helsinki Heatseekers and the Salo Juggernauts. The sport is growing in popularity, with four active teams in November 2015. The controlling body is the Finland AFL. New members always welcome!
- Finland AFL: Facebook
- Helsinki: Helsinki Heatseekers
- Salo: Salo Juggernauts
- Turku: Turku Dockers & Facebook
- Vaasa: Waasa Wombats & Facebook
Ironically there is not much information available in English about American Football in Finland! The Wikipedia page about the official sites is much more informative (in English) than the sites themselves: American_Football_Association_of_Finland
American Football Association of
Founded in 1979, the SAJL has 37 member clubs in 2015 and over 2800 players in men's and women's leagues, as well as in six different youth categories.
Suomen Amerikkalaisen Jalkapallon Liitto ry (SAJL): www.sajl.fi
Helsinki Wolverines Football Team
The Helsinki Wolverines have been going since 1995; they have men's, women's and junior teams. Online information in Finnish only.
The Finnish Cricket Association
The FCA was set up in 1999 to develop and organize the game of cricket in Finland. Cricket is a fast-growing sport here; from 4 clubs in 2001 there are now 20+ clubs in various parts of the country, so odds are you have a local club in your region! Finland is now proud to have its first dedicated grass cricket ground and pavilion at Kerava. The Kerava National Cricket Ground is home to the Finnish National Cricket Team.
The FCA's online presence is
Cricket Finland: www.cricketfinland.com
From this large site you can see information about the history and development of cricket in Finland, news, events, rules of the game and much more. If you are interested in playing the game, Cricket Finland also includes the List of FCA Cricket Clubs, which links to the individual clubs. If you'd like to get involved in some other way, there is also a Development section with pages about cricket umpiring, junior cricket, women's cricket and more.
The central organisations are
Finnish Baseball and Softball Federation:
www.baseball.fi - Finnish + limited English
https://fi-fi.facebook.com/BaseballSuomi - Facebook
Finnish Baseball Association: www.pesis.fi - Finnish only
Espoo Expos: http://espooexpos.kotisivukone.com
Helsinki Mets: https://www.facebook.com/HelsinkiMets
Helsinki Puumat: https://fi-fi.facebook.com/puumatbaseball
Helsinki Boars: https://www.facebook.com/HelsinkiBoars
Lahti Pirates: http://www.lahtipirates.com
Malmi Bullets: http://malmibullets.wix.com/malmi-bullets
Tampere Tigers: http://tamperetigers.sporttisaitti.com/
Turku Black Sox: http://blacksox.fi - No experience or skills necessary!
Finland is a great place for mountain biking and bicycle touring. It provides varying landscapes for culture and nature-lovers alike. The Cycling in Finland site is available in Finnish, Russian, English and German, and contains loads of information. Content includes
- Information on what Finland has to offer for bicycle tourists
- Mountain biking
- National, regional, and local cycle routes
- Maps & guides
- A guide to services for bicycle tourists
- Tips about preparation, travel gear, travelling with your bike & more
Cycling in Finland: www.pyoraillensuomessa.fi - Fi, En, Ru, Ge 03.01.17: Site malfunctioning, probably temporary
Nationalparks.fi: Nationalparks.fi is a great resource for outdoor activities. Choose your activity, and you can search for 'destinations' in Finland to do it!
Bicycle repairs & sales
Fishing is popular in Finland - about 10% of the country is covered in water, after all - and fish dishes are an integral part of Finnish cuisine. Finnish fishing culture has always been based on the idea that the catch will be prepared for a meal. The Fishing in Finland site is available in English, Chinese, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Polish, Russian, Spanish, and Swedish. It includes information on Finnish fishing destinations, species, methods, and services. Information about fishing licences, events and more is in the Fishing Facts section, including instructions for smoking fish!
Fishing in Finland: www.fishinginfinland.fi/en
SMARK Rowing Club: Merikannontie 4, 00260. Ph: 050 5722 318 (Mon-Fri 9:00-16:00)
Not far from the Olympic Stadium, SMARK dates back to the 1930's.They welcome anybody with the slightest experience and interest in rowing, and also have an ice swimming season.
Club information: www.smark.fi/english/
Other Rowing Clubs in Finland
- Hämeenlinna: hameenlinnansoutajat.sporttisaitti.com
- Naantali & Porvoo: www.nesteensoutajat.net
- Parainen: www.pargasroddklubb.fi
- Tampere: www.takonsoutajat.fi
- Turku: turunsoutajat.sporttisaitti.com
- Lappeenranta: yhdistykset.ekarjala.fi/soutajat/
- Raahe: www.raahenpurjehdusseura.com
Shakta Joogakoulu, Helsinki
The first yoga school of the Shakta tradition in Northern Europe. Yoga course in English, including asana practise, breathing exercises (pranayama), Sun Salutations and more. No previous yoga experience required.
Shakta Joogakoulu: www.shakta.fi En, Ru, Fi
Thai boxing has a robust following, and Finland has en extensive network of Thai boxing clubs. Individual clubs usually don't have web sites in English, but you can find a list of clubs Finland-wide at
www.muaythai.fi > Jäsenseurat
Look through the list for a local club or search your locality using the Suodata kaupungin mukaan text box at the top of the list.
The search results will show all contact details as well as links to individual clubs' sites. You can try opening Finnish-only sites in Google Translate; go to www.translate.google.com, paste the site's address in the left-hand box and click the Translate button.
Jolly Dragon is a Helsinki-based
group which arranges a wide variety of sports and social
events for internationals and professionals - about 50 sports
in all! Some of the most popular are squash, floorball / salibandy, badminton, pool, chess, volleyball and table tennis, all of which feature regularly on the calendar. Membership to Jolly Dragon is free.
Jolly Dragon: www.jollydragon.net
Akilles, a sports club in Porvoo - about 50km east of Helsinki - was founded in 1902 and is firmly established as Porvoo's leading sports club. The club has both Swedish- and Finnish-speaking supporters, and is divided into 8 sections: cycling, bandy, football, handball, orienteering, country skiing, track & field and outdoor sports.
Cycling has been Akilles' most successful
sport; 7 of their cyclists have taken part in the Olympic
Games and 12 cyclists have participated in World Championships.
This is not really an 'expat sports' club (unless you count
Swedish speakers!) but for many people it will be of interest if only for its proud history.
Go to the Yellow Pages at www.fonecta.fi - Enter polkupyörät (bicycles) or pyöräkorjaamo (bicycle repairs) and your location in the Henkilöt, yritykset, palvelut ja puhelinnumerot box
In the results, look for nearby addresses and visit the web sites. Most of the listed companies will sell bikes. Any mention of huolto or korjaamo at the sites means they also do servicing / repairs. Open Finnish-only sites in Google Translate.