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New services for the development of Kontiolahti's year-round training center - operations will start at first snow camps in October

Kontiolahti has a lot of untapped potential, says Jarmo Riski, who developed a new training concept for young people practicing snow sports.

Kontiolahti's first snow trail is looking for a flying start, boosted by new services. Vaara Sport, which complements the area's camp services, will start its operations in North Karelia in mid-October, at the same time as Kontiolahti's first snowfall.

The new services include, among other things, a coaching program for young people developed by coach Jarmo Riski and camps.

—With our own service, we support the training and service center for athletes and outdoor sports enthusiasts, which is being built in cooperation in Kontiolahti. The core of our expertise is the enjoyment of our guests, and the starting point is high-quality coaching produced by professionals for the needs of athletes of different ages, says Vaara Sport director Tuija Vinkka.

Accessibility is attractive

Vinkka and Riski justify the expansion of operations to a new region with the accessibility of Kontiolahti's services.

—Here we offer an excellent location in an environment where everything you need is already built. With the Kontiolahti biathlon stadium and Pärnävaara, the region practically has two roller rinks of different profiles and versatile training terrains in one city. The hills of Koli are nearby, as are the services of the city of Joensuu. There is a lot of untapped potential here, says Riski.

From Vaara Sport's base, Karelia Sport Bed, it is a kilometer to the biathlon stadium and the first snow track.

—In the summer, the training ground opens right from the yard, and in the winter, you can reach the track almost directly from the front door. The Höytäinen lake next to it opens up great opportunities for water sports and fishing, says Vinkka.

No cloud castles

Vaara Sport, which offered camp services in Taivalkoski in Northern Ostrobothnia, already had thoughts of cooperation in the direction of Kontiolahti a few years ago, when Vinkka and her colleagues went to benchmark the activities of the Kontiolahti area.

—At that time, the idea arose that this would be a place for development. We are not going on a spur of the moment, says Vinkka.

—Exercise tourism is seen here as a business activity. The area has a clear approach to development, which is why the region interests us as well. We, on the other hand, see opportunities for growth both in Finland and in the Kontiolahti region, not only in domestic sports tourism, but also in international operations, especially since year-round business is already possible.

—We have not built cloud castles and we will not do so in the future. We want to use the experience of our partners, bring our own contribution and grow through cooperation, says Vinkka.

Auspicious time for growth

The partnership with Vaara Sport comes at an opportune time for Kontiolahti Outdoor, which provides the Ensilumen slope and other services of the Kontiolahti Biathlon Stadium.

—We have started long-term development work, with which we seek a stronger foothold as a Finnish training center. We are building the future through, among other things, Biathlon World Cup events awarded here and other partnerships. Cooperation with Vaara Sport is an expected and very important part of our development activities, says Kontiolahti Outdoor's CEO Kimmo Turunen.

Turunen raises the 30300 Training training packages designed by Vaara Sport and Jarmo Risk, aimed at young people, as an example, which creates new solution models for sports clubs.

—The operation has been piloted for 1.5 years now. Encouraging experiences have been gained from the concept, which complements the other activities of the clubs and also utilizes new technology, and we expect that the concept will gather more users.

Info: Kontiolahti camp services for clubs, athletes and active people

  • The versatile roller skiing track (4 km), the first snow slope opening in October (1.5-4 km), the 30-place shooting range and the outdoor terrains in the surrounding area up to Koli offer a year-round training environment, from junior camps to national team camps.
  • Extensive coaching, accommodation, food and program services.
  • Get to know Kontiolahti's first snow slope camp package.