Hundreds of enthusiastic Finns are following their team in the matches at Centennial Hall in Wroclaw
Wroclaw, Poland, September 14, 2014 - Finland is a country not often associated to volleyball. As a part of Scandinavia, it is natural that their most popular sports are connected with the winter games.
So to watch how around three thousands of Finnish supporters travelled to Katowice and over one hundred of them continued to follow their team in Wroclaw was somehow a big surprise for the Finland’s players and the Polish organisers as well.
All team members are amazed, since they never had such a fantastic support, especially when playing out of their home soil.
Ice hockey is the number one sport in Finland. The Suomi National Team have won the world championship twice and Volleyball never had a success comparable to this one.
What is the reason for the change among Finns? The Team Suomi’s players Eemi Tervaportti and Lauri Kerminen have found a few possible reasons.
“It never happened before,” the setter Tervaportti commented. “The sea of white and blue in the tribunes here in Poland is something really special of us. We are reaching a high level in the sport and our fans can see it. I think we [the players] love what we do, our supporters see that and share the love with us during the matches.”
“Our national league is getting better all the time,” added teammate, the libero Lauri Kerminen. “That is the reason why we are here now. I think our improvement in volleyball has made our fans more supportive. They like watching good volleyball and I want to say thank you to all our fans. They are amazing and becoming more like the Polish fans who are the best in the world.”
The qualification to the FIVB Men’s World Championship Poland 2014 was for the current National Team a historic moment, because the last time they participated in the World Championship was in 1982. The head coach of Finland, Tuomas Sammelvuo emphasized the scale of this situation:
“It is the first time in 32 years that we are playing in the World Championship. Our fans see the improvement of the discipline and it could be the main reason why they are more interested.”
What is interesting in the Finnish support, is the fact of their dedication. They travelled thousands of kilometers to be with their National Team in Poland. A lot of them were here for the first time, but as they say - not the last. The Suomis are enjoying the trip and showing their absolute support.
The Scandinavians are proud after the victory and faithful after the defeat.
Written by Elzbieta Poznar, Young Writer Programme