expanding the parameters of finnishness

Archive for the ‘Other Sports’ Category

Floorball season set to begin. You in?

Posted by Markus Raty on September 11, 2006

Toronto Floorball League picks up steam for fourth season

toronto floorball 

You may think this is another sports posting and you’d be right and wrong! It is about sports and much more. Although I do have a penchant for staying active through sports, a by-product of engaging in various physical pursuits is the myriad quality folk you meet along the way.

I stumbled upon floorball almost by accident, by way of covering the inaugural Canada Cup tournament a couple of years ago whilst working for Vapaa Sana. Soon I was playing the sport and one of the engaging young chaps I met was Juha Mikkola, Toronto’s floorball guru. I now have a clutch of floorball friends, and while I am taking this season off (these old knees are crying for a break), I would strongly recommend you to check out the scene if you are looking for a fun way to stay fit.

Floorball is an exciting cross between ice hockey and floor/ball hockey, employing the best of both without the stickwork or contact. It also incorporates elements of basketball and the result is a fun, fast-paced indoor hockey game. It has quickly grown from a grassroots sport in Sweden to the sport of choice in Sweden, Finland (Finnish floorball info), Czech and is now quickly gaining fans in Canada. 

The Toronto league has both competitive and social divisions and is stacked with all manner of Finns, Swedes, Canadians, amongst others all playing and partying together. Another bonus is that the league is fully co-ed with men and women playing together. Or, if you prefer (and are female ;-), there is a women’s division.

AND, it’s cheap. All you need is a stick and sneaks and you’re set to go!

Check out the Toronto Floorball League and Social Scene for more info and to sign up, and for more on floorball itself, surf to Floorball Canada’s site. The league starts soon so don’t delay.


Posted in Hockey, Local Events, Other Sports, Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

An emergin soccer threat..?

Posted by Markus Raty on September 5, 2006

It feels like the World Cup just ended, and indeed it did, however qualification for the world’s second largest soccer tournament -the European Championships – is under way.

Finland has never qualified for a soccer tournament of any significance. They have always run up against at least two world-calibre sides in their qualifying groups and hence never advanced.

Could EURO 2008 be their coming out party? Finland opened qualifying with a resounding 3-1 victory over World Cup qualifiers Poland last weekend. This is significant in that, along with heavy group favourites Portugal, Poland is expected to qualify as the second-place team.

Finland now takes on World Cup semi-finalists Portugal on Wednesday in Helsinki. In fact, the game is the lead story on Google (I googled EURO 2008 qualifying) which you can read about here in the International Herald Tribune.

The game will kick-off at 1pm EST (Toronto time) so make sure to schedule your lunch break accordingly. The game will be shown at any of the myriad Portuguese watering holes in the city. One which I can highly recommend is the home of Team Portugal, the Cervejaria on College (aka College Street Bar and Grill). 842 College St. Good food. 

Posted in Other Sports, Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

it ain’t all good news from Finland..

Posted by Markus Raty on August 30, 2006

Finnish shot-putter tests positive for testosterone

Finnish national shot-putting champion Ville Tiisanoja has tested positive for testosterone and will be stripped of his gold medal. Read more on the story here. What is refreshing about this case – amongst the numbing number of sports druggie busts we hear about these days – is Tiisanoja’s candidness once busted. Unlike FLoyd Landis and Justin Gatlin and Marion Jones, just to name a few, Tiisanoja didn’t blame it on booze or special cream the trainer rubbed on his legs or any other cockamamie excuse. He took the heat, admitted to looking for an edge and regretted it.

While even the odd Finn may cheat, (who knew?) it is somewhat comforting that there is still some level of integrity maintained in the process. Or is it?

Posted in Other Sports, Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Finland vs. Canada

Posted by Markus Raty on August 19, 2006

Howdy all! Back from a week-long jaunt in Tunder Bay, Ontario. That’s where the Hilden Clan (Mom’s an ex-Hilden) and Kangas Clan have resided since the early 60s – which I guess by extension makes me a TunderBayer. Center of the non-Finnish Finnish universe. But I digress..more on this later.

THANKS to a fellow finnophiler, DJ Skip, we can all rise up early tomorrow morning to watch our (Canadian) under-20 ladies face-off against our (Finnish) under-20 lasses in soccer. The game will be televised live on Rogers Sportsnet at 8am Sunday!

Posted in Other Sports, Uncategorized | 2 Comments »