Goalball World Championships for visually impaired athletes take a stand for clean sport

World-class goalball can be seen at Tapiola Sports Park in Espoo between 26 June and 6 July, when the sport’s World Championships are organised for the first time in Finland. This event has declared itself a clean top sporting event and strongly advocates athletes’ global equality. Goalballers show in this way that clean sport and fair play are highly appreciated in Finland.

A total of 102 top-level goalball games will be played in Espoo over six days at two arenas: Sport Hall Tapiola and Sport Hall Summa. The Finnish men’s team is the ruling paralympics champions from London, while the women’s team ranked fourth in London. The event is organised by the Finnish Sports Association of Persons with Disabilities VAU.

At the championships, clean sport will also be symbolised by the Golden Baton, which travels around international championships in Finland. The Goalball World Championships accepted the challenge of clean sport from the World Rallycross Championships.  

“I am very happy and proud that we automobile competitors are part of this important chain as representatives of a somewhat different sport, and I am happy to pass the challenge on to the Goalball World Championships. “Even though our sports are quite different, we share the same principles of fair play and clean sport,” says Tapani Eronen, 1st Vice-Chair of AKK-Motorsport ry, who hands the baton over to goalballers.

“The principles of ethics and fair play in sports as well as equality are the foundation of disabled sports. Goalball and the World Championships want to be involved in promoting the principle of clean sport and fairness in elite sports. We are pleased to carry the Golden Baton,” says Hannele Pöysti, Secretary General of the Goalball World Championships.

“Of course, our goal is to win, but it is particularly important to use to win with fair play, following the rules. We are proud to spread the message of clean sport,” says Erkki Miinala, member of the Finnish team.

Kuva: Lauri Jaakkola

The Clean Win information stand is present at the Goalball World Championships for visually impaired athletes on Friday, 4 July from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and on Saturday, 5 July from 9:00 a.m. to 2 p.m. You can admire a poster for clean sport signed by all of the medallists of the championships, and young athletes can take part in World Anti-Doping Agency WADA’s quiz and win a fine golden drinking bottle. There will also be draws for the public and a fine opportunity for discussing the values of sport.

The Clean Win programme was launched in May 2008. The programme honours clean athletes and the values of fair play. It invites Finnish sports fans, sporting organisations, the friends and relatives of athletes and the athletes themselves to get involved in fair play.

Further information:
Susanna Sokka
FINADA Information Manager
Mobile +358 (0)40 740 7477

Internet: www.goalball2014.fi