Jarkko Huovila leaves Halden

The World Champion Jarkko Huovila signs for Tampereen Pyrintö

Finnish national team member Jarkko Huovila will join the Finnish orienteering club Tampereen Pyrintö in the near future. The 2-year contract was signed and made public on Friday at a press conference held in Tampere, Finland. At the same time, it was also introduced that Pekka Itävuo and Finnish national team II-coach, Kari Arponen, join the club.

Jarkko Huovila is clearly one of the best Finnish orienteers with his five World Championships medals. He has been part of Finnish WOC-team since year 2001, which was the year he won the gold in relay together with Janne Salmi, Jani Lakanen and Juha Peltola. Last year Jarkko took bronze in middle distance in Japan and this year silver from the same distance in Denmark.

- Silver medal from WOC is a great thing, but I had set my target a bit higher. I made mistakes and lost the gold so my aim in Ukraine in 2007 is therefore nothing but to win the World Championship. I feel that my decision to switch to Tampereen Pyrintö help in achieving this goal by providing me with the needed support to focus on my training at the professional level required and also by getting some extra boost from the new environment and people.

30-year-old Huovila has lived for the last seven years in Halden, Norway and has thus been a member of the local top club, Halden SK. In the beginning of December, Jarkko will move to Tampere, Finland and begin a half-day job in an insurance company. This outstanding job opportunity, along with the good work done for elite orienteering in the new club are the main reasons for this move.

- Tampereen Pyrintö was my option number one as a new club in Finland. There is simply a good attitude in the club and they are taking very good care of the top athletes, not just regarding the sports-related issues, but also with the non-sport related issues. Naturally, it is also very important to me that we will have a very strong team for the big relays and that was one of the motives in choosing the new club. It is not a secret that my target is not just to win the World Championship but also to conquer many more Tiomilas & Jukolas during my career, says Huovila with a smile.

The manager of Tampereen Pyrintö, Sami Takaluoma is also a happy man. This year Pyrintö finished third in Jukola and now, with the addition of Itävuo and a real star in Huovila, the goal is naturally set even higher. Takaluoma believes that Huovila’s and Itävuo’s transfer is going to give a lot of extra boost for the other members of the club, too.

- Jarkko is a great world-class orienteer with a huge amount of experience. Pekka is a true team player and a real fighter. Jarkko has conquered the Jukola- and Tiomila-relays several times and I hope that he is the key player who turns the big relays to our advantage in the future. I am also confident that Jarkko & Pekka will have a great contribution to our team spirit, not least because of their presence in Tampere, which I am sure will inherently increase the quality of training of all the guys in the team, says Takaluoma.

Tampereen Pyrintö is also putting more emphasis on coaching, as the II-coach of the Finnish national team, Kari Arponen, will move to Finland and back to Tampere. The club is familiar to Kari; he was the head coach of Tampereen Pyrintö for two years before signing with Halden SK in summer 2004.

- It was an easy decision for me to return to Pyrintö. I knew the organisation, the people and way of doing business from the past and the role offered by the club suited my own plans perfectly. I will take responsibility of the coaching of a couple of club’s top athletes with the aim of taking them to the highest level in the world, says Arponen

More information: www.tampereenpyrinto.fi/suunnistus

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