EPSI give voice to our #InnovateSport network: we had the pleasure to interview Petteri Luukkainen from Varala Sports Insititute.

  Could you present your Organization? What are your excellences? 

  • Vision: Varala Sports Institute wants to be involved in creating a future where everyone can enjoy healthy lifestyles, exercise or sports, achieve their goals and feel good, regardless of age and background, whether in the workplace or on the playfield. 
  • Mission: Varala Sports Institute promotes the movement and wellbeing of Finnish people
  • Strategic aim: Varala wants to be the most influential and trusted player in the sports industry in Finland
  • Our goal is to be economically, socially and environmentally sustainable and ensure enough profits to be able to make the necessary future investments in the direction of Varala Foundation’s mission statement and the future goals of Varala Sports Institute. 
  • Varala’s four main areas are Education, Sports, Wellbeing services for companies and groups and Leisure time activities. 

2.     Could you tell us one of your recent projects?

Some examples of our projects in Finland have been:

  • Strength training pathway for young athletes (National project) 2015-2017 
  • Health promotion in sports (National project) 2017 onwards. 
  • Monitoring of training load of the athletes (National project) 2016-2018 
  • Dual career in vocational studies (Regional project) 2016-2017 
  • Creating e-sports coach training package (National project) 2018-2019. 

Some European projects:

  • Da Vinci/ self financed student exchanges (2010 onwards)
  • Erasmus+ sports SCORES project on Athletes dual careers (2019-2021)
  • Erasmus + student & staff exchange (2022 onwards)

3.     What are your long-term plans or objectives, in particular with respect to your European outreach?

  • Varala wishes to get involved to interesting and fruitful projects in coming years in co-operation with relevant European partners. Projects may be related (for example) to digitalization of sports; boosting Varala’s role as a product testing laboratory for sports technology goods; education export in the field of sports; athlete’s dual career or student/teacher change programs. 

4.     Why have you joined EPSI?

  • EPSI among other networks is a great platform for European sport organizations which helps Varala to increase it’s presence in Europe. Our hope is to find through EPSI interesting new companionships, European projects and hopefully even strategic partners in the future.