Rauph Ramos came to Finland to play floorball. Miguel del Castillo Negrete didn’t know anything about the game before this autumn. Both are now organizing a floorball tournament together.
When Mexican Miguel del Castillo Negrete this autumn saw the floorball ball for the first time, he didn’t know what to think. He could not even understand what the game’s English name was supposed to mean.
“I was like what, floorball, how can you play with the floor, what the hell are you talking about”, he laughs.
Del Castillo Negrete came to Finland last August to do a master’s degree in the faculty of Sport and Health Sciences. He is studying in the two-year programme of Sport Management. In his studies, he also has a course about organizing sports events.
This year around twenty students, both Finnish and foreign, signed up for the course. This time they are organizing a floorball tournament. In the project, the university is cooperating with the local floorball club Happee. The tournament takes place on the 28t of November.
Almost half of the students in the course knew nothing about floorball before their first meetings. Also del Castillo Negrete had to watch videos on the internet to learn to understand the game.
Del Castillo Negrete’s study colleague Rauph Ramos, on the other hand, knew exactly what the game was about. It was the reason he came to Finland from the Philippines in the first place.
“Last year I came to know about the programme in Sport Management here in Finland. It being one of the biggest floorball countries in the world, I decided to come here.”
Ramos got acquainted with floorball in 2010. A Swedish man working with the Filipino street children introduced floorball to a sports club whose activities also Ramos was involved in. A few years ago he started teaching floorball in the club and the university.
“I wanted to play ice hockey, but in Philippines when you want to play ice hockey it’s very expensive. When I saw floorball, which is similar to hockey, I thought why not try it.“
Also del Castillo Negrete associated floorball immediately with ice hockey: both are fast games which are relatively easy to play. After coming to Finland, del Castillo Negrete would have wanted to play ice hockey, but because of his non-existent skills in skating that didn’t work out.
“I think the closest I can get to icehockey is floorball”, he laughs.
In addition to the Finnish viewers, the organizers also hope international audience to find the tournament.
“This is not only something for the sports students. We hope that also students from other faculties would come and see the tournament, says Henni Hietala, one of the organizers of the Moose Cup 2013 – tournament.
All three are enthusiastic about the upcoming tournament. del Castillo Negrete thinks the best part of the entire course, aside from getting to know floorball, has been getting to know students from other cultures.
“I really even feel sorry that we as organizers can’t play in the tournament”, Hietala says.
Also Ramos is going to make the most of organizing the tournament. As for the future, if he can’t find work relating to floorball in Finland, he will later return to the Philippines. There, he would like to continue teaching the game in both sports clubs and at the universities.
“For me this course and master programme is like a dream come true. I would like to see floorball spreading all over the country. That’s my another dream”, Ramos says.