Two years ago Salpaus Further Education and the local ice hockey team, The Pelicans, started a groundbreaking vocational education project.
In March 2014 four players, Jan Latvala, Joonas Hurri, Juha-Pekka Pietilä and Jarkko Immonen, received Further Qualification in Sales from Salpaus Further Education. Originally there were eight players who started studying at Salpaus, but because of transfers to other ice hockey teams only four of them could continue.
The Pelicans play in the Finnish Elite League, so combining studies with the highly demanding career of a professional hockey player was not always easy.
“A Lot of flexibility has been needed. But I’m happy with the deep cooperation between Salpaus and The Pelicans. Also the sense of humor that the boys had was important to get us through the studies”, says teacher Seija Finsk.
The idea of ice hockey players studying a vocational degree originally comes from the Finnish Ice Hockey Association. The goal is to give players the skills and education needed to be successful in the future after their ice hockey careers are over.