We continue our European Youth Championships 2019 column, including blitz-interviews with some great people of our bowling family!
It is the Head Coach of all National bowling teams from the U-18, U-21, ladies and men’s teams, as well as the Head of Talent and Elite of Swedish Bowling Federation Johan Ekiz Ekström who is answering our questions today.
How to make it to the youth team of Sweden (for players)?
– Mainly through our talent program, but also based on competition results. All teams are picked by the Head Coach
How many youth players (also amateurs, leagues) there are in Sweden?
– I don’t have an exact number, but for both boys and girls – around 1800 players less than 21 years of age.
What are the top sports in Sweden? Is ten-pin bowling in TOP-10 or maybe even better?
– No, bowling is no way near top 10 unfortunately. I would say soccer, floorball, handball, ice-hockey, golf, all types of skiing, track and field, horse and then there are the rest of the Olympic sports before bowling…
How many hours you spend coaching?
– I´m hired full time by the federation and it varies a lot, but all together, I would say it is 16 hours a week on lane coaching.
What is the most demanding/challenging part of the coaching job and what is the best part?
– There are so many things that are challenging, on so many levels, but of course, when you try to be an asset for the best players you definitely have to be on the top of your game, using all of your skills.
One of the most rewarding things is when you see a players trying very hard to do what he/she believes in succeeding in their strive to achieve something special. Having the opportunity to be a part of that is very rewarding for me.
Do you bowl yourself?
– Yes I do, and have been for 35 years now.
Do you have any superstitions or lucky charms (for the big events), if not a secret?
-Ha-ha, well, I tend to keep a shirt for the next day if the previous day was a good one, otherwise I try not to…
What is best part of youth tournament such as EYC, from the coach perspective?
– I have had the luxury of winning a lot of medals so of course that is a good part, but from a coaches perspective it’s pretty much like the previous answer, to see a player overcome some difficulties, turn a tournament around and succeed in the end.
What is your best EYC moment/memory, so far?
– Medal wise, definitely the team Golds, but there are so many individual performances that come to mind along with that.
Do you see bowling in Olympics program in the near future?
– Obviously, that’s a dream, as this is the sport I love, but I don’t think it is going to happen any time soon, unfortunately. I think that bowlers have to start with asking ourselves why we are not there yet. My personal belief is that we have to start taking our own sport serious before we even can think that someone else is going to. This is one of very few things I would like to be wrong about though…
Dear friends! While getting ready for the European Youth Championships 2019, we would like to stay in touch with you and thus you are kindly invited to follow the web-site and our Facebook page to receive the newest updates.
While getting ready for the European Youth Championships 2019, we would like to stay in touch with you and thus you are kindly invited to follow the web-site and our Facebook page to receive the newest updates.
Today, we present our column, which are some blitz-interviews with some great people of our bowling family 😉
It is the current President of Finnish bowling federation, European champion and World champion Perttu Jussila who is answering our questions today.
How many EYCs you have participated?
– I participated in 3 EYCs – Thessaloniki 2007, Helsinki 2008 and Malmö 2009.
Could you share your best EYC moment/memory?
– The best memory is obviously winning the masters gold in Helsinki in front of home crowd. That was pretty epic!
What makes EYC special for you?
– For me EYC was the first step of international career. It was also the first true reality check outside of Finland.
If you could add one more event to EYC program, what would it be?
I have to say I liked it when we had six men teams. For some reason I have always liked Trios, so I would like to get that back. However, if the team size is still 4, I would say mixed doubles.
What do you expect from team Finland next year? Any player to watch closely?
– I expect success! Our youth bowlers have really improved in the past few years thanks to the National team programs. We have several good players to watch.
Will we ever see you as a National team coach?
– I have been helping our bowlers with lane play and equipment in championships but that is enough for me. So I would say no to that.
Your wish for the EYC participants?
– Make it count. For the most, it will be the first major event and hopefully a stepping stone to greatness.
Perttu Jussila is EYC 2008 gold medalist, EBT titlist in 2010, EMC gold medalist in team event in 2012 and 2016, as well as WMC gold medalist in team event.
We kindly welcome you to Riga – the capital of Latvia and largest city of Baltic states! Riga was founded in 1201 and thus has unique medieval architecture of later periods, the urban structure, the richness and quality of Art Noveau architecture and the 19th century wooden architecture of the city. The historical heart of Riga – Old Riga and central parts of the city are on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Now Riga has turned into a truly cosmopolitan European capital, with lots of different languages spoken in its streets and people from both East and West choosing it as their new home town.
In order to plan your spare time, we highly recommend to visit www.liveriga.com/en/ in order to receive the information about must-sees and must-dos in Riga.
We hope you enjoy your stay in Riga! See you in 2019!
It is our great pleasure to welcome you all to the European Youth Championships 2019!
EYC 2019 is scheduled to be held between 12 and 22 April in Riga, Latvia, at Pepsi boulinga centrs. You are kindly invited to follow the web-site and our facebook page to receive the newest updates.