From the ice rink to the supporting stands

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2019-04-04 15:09

Emma Terho, who came through the ranks at Espoo Blues, has  made history in women’s ice hockey in many ways. Now, the former captain of the Finnish national team is sharing her experience as  chair of the committee arranging the women’s ice hockey world  championships, which will be held in Espoo from 4 to 14 April 2019, Metro Areena. She has promised  that the atmosphere at Metro Areena will be magnificent.

IN 1999, the promising young ice hockey player Emma Terho was 17 years old. Espoo Metro Areena was built in the same year, when it also hosted the women’s ice hockey world championships. Twenty years on, and the championships are being held in Espoo again, with Terho chairing the committee to arrange them. In the interim, Terho has won two Olympic bronze medals, five bronze medals at world cham-pionships and seven gold medals in national championships. She is also the first woman on the board of the Finnish Ice Hockey Association and, one year ago, she joined the International Olympic Committee as an athlete member.

Espoo was confirmed as the championship host last spring, but the atmosphere is just beginning to intensify. It has not been long since the end of my playing career, so I am looking forward to seeing a lot of my friends from around the world,” says Terho, who hung up her skates after the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014.

TEN COUNTRIES will compete in the world championships. There will be a total of 230 players and a further 150 people in the sup-porting staff for the teams. Terho is quick to point out that the action on the ice is just the tip of the iceberg.

“The matches are the main event, but a lot of work naturally goes into the arrangements, such as accommodation, food, logistics and security. Operational responsi-bility lies with the Secretary-General and the expert team. Volunteers also play an important and valuable role.”

Almost 300 volunteers will be involved in the championships: stewards, drivers and first-aid staff. Collaboration with the city and other parties has gone well.

“Espoo is experienced at hosting large events, and we have been grateful for all of the help the city can provide,” Terho says. “Although the sport is front and centre, our aim is to create a family event with a good atmosphere. For example, schools have been offered a range of activities re-lated to the championships. Hopefully, the championships will inspire people to take up sporting activities. Espoo of-fers amazing and diverse opportunities for this.”

AT THE END of the year, Terho was awarded the Espoo medal. She received the medal for her work to promote ice hockey in Espoo and Finland more widely in addition to her sporting achievements.

“Espoo has always been my home city in Finland. Now that I have small children, my appreciation for the opportunities that the city offers has only grown,” she says.

When the puck hits the ice for the first time at Metro Areena in April, Terho hopes that there will not be an empty seat in the arena. She promises that she will be there as well.

Women’s ice hockey world  championships from 4 to 14 April 2019, Metro Areena

Finland’s group-stage matches: 4 April, 7:30 pm: Finland vs USA

6 April, 4 pm: Russia vs Finland

8 April, 4 pm: Finland vs Switzerland 9 April, 7:30 pm: Canada vs Finland

11 April Quarter-finals, 

placement match 9–10

13 April Semi-finals

14 April Third place playoff, final

Article originally published in the  Espoo Magazine 1/2019 .