Hockey is BOOMING in Finland!
|Tuesday, January 23, 2018|
We typically have a surge of teams registering for the CARHA Hockey World Cup as soon as registration opens, but they're typically teams that have played in the event in the past. Teams that have history with the World Cup and know they can't miss it.
Which is why we were so surprised that the first team to register this year was a newcomer!
Henri Vuolle of Paksut Pojat tells us more.
Tell us about your team – what’s your team name, where are you from, and when were you founded?
Our team name in the tournament is Fat Bastards but actually it's "Paksut pojat". Strict translation is fat boys but we wanted it to be a bit more conspicuous so it's Fat Bastards. We come from Tampere, Finland and we put our team together for the ongoing season spring 2017. We have played in the same team or against each others for years but wanted to build a bit more competitive roster and gathered this group of friends. It's been great to play with this roster!
You were the very first team to register for the CARHA Hockey World Cup in 2020 – what made you so eager for this tournament?
We found out accidentally that the registration is about to start and have heard nothing but the best about the tournament. Also an opportunity to play in the home of ice hockey is inspiring and we are looking forward to see a piece of Canadian hockey culture. We all wanted to be a part of the event immediately! And also this is the closest to NHL we can get, so it was obvious that we wanted to make sure we were there!
We are getting overwhelming representation from Finland so far – what is it that is making hockey grow so fast over there?
Recreational hockey has grown very much in the last few years here in Finland. Actually so much that the amount of referees starts to be a challenge to finnish ice hockey federation! Finnish people have always been big fans of ice hockey. In the past though to players ice hockey has been more of make it or break it kind of thing - If one couldn't get to pro level then it was time to find other things in your life. Nowadays the culture around ice hockey has been eased up a bit and many youth players and also ex pro's still want to keep playing and have a hobby with this great sport and people around it. So today there's a right level for all the hockey enthusiastics to play if you're an old NHL player or started your hockey path as an adult player and that's great! Our team is somewhere in between, most of our guys have been playing since kids but for one reason or another just didn't have quite enough to break to pro levels.
How many CARHA Hockey World Cups have you attended in the past?
This will actually be our first!
What are you most excited about in Richmond in 2020?
To measure our competitive level, and see and feel the Canadian hockey culture. Even the idea of playing ice hockey in Canada is kind a dream come true to many of us. Also it's great to meet players from other countries and have the time to hang out with guys that share our passion for this sport.