by Anzhelika Manasheva, degree student in Environmental Engineering
I have been playing volleyball for the most part of my life that is why I was utterly worried if I would be able to find a decent team here, in Tampere, when I moved here. I started searching in the Internet all the possible volleyball clubs or associations, and to my greatest surprise I found plenty! Although it was already quite late in the autumn that I contacted them, because most of the teams were formed at the end of the summer, yet, I was still invited to a few trial practices to see what I could do and if I could fit in. Luckily, after the very first training the head coach of Kale team was truly pleased to accept as a new member of their team.
Unfortunately, I still had to face some unpleasant inconveniences. Later, it turned out that my Russian volleyball license were invalid in Finland what forced me to buy a new one, which, sadly, cost me a pretty penny. The price of the licenses in Finland depends on what division you are playing in. On the whole there are 4 divisions, from strongest (1) to more immature (4). I was playing in the second division. Nevertheless, I never happened to regret buying the new license. First of all, I did not have to think about further expenditures anymore. The price of license covers four days a week practices, uniform, transportation, coaching and equipment. And I was extremely astonished to discover how easily available it all was as soon as I became a member. And gym membership as well!
The indoor volleyball season lasted from the beginning of autumn till March. Unfortunately, we did not win any special awards, but we still did very well! 😉
Having moved here I did not expect to discover that out of only two closed beach volley halls that exist in Finland one of the would be in Tampere. Honestly speaking, it is 45-minutes’ drive from Tampere, though, but the guys organized it so well that every time somebody would always give us a ride. Obviously, there are much more beach volley clubs, but I joint BVT club, what stands for Beach Volley Tampere. The membership price was surprisingly low, but it allowed me to use all the equipment during the summertime, and they gave me 2 T-shirts with the club name on them. Thus, we practiced every week on Wednesdays for two hours, but now when the beach volley season came, we play every day on Pyynikki beach. The people there are very friendly and talkative, even to me considering that I almost don’t speak their language.
What is more, beach volley tournaments take place every week, Thursday and Saturday, and of course everyone is welcome to come and cheer the players up or even join!
On the whole, volleyball is indeed quite important in Tampere. Tampere happens to host such significant championships as World League, European Championship, and Beach Volley Europe Championship. In 2009 beach volley tournament was organized right on the central squire of the city. And I do really hope that one day I will witness another championship on the central squire of Tampere, or who knows, maybe I will participate.