River Bulls, the only male synchro team comes from Finland
The male team is coming from Seinäjoki, a city located in Western Finland. /Credits: Juha Luhtala
The team River Bulls from Seinäjoki has already had great publicity in Finland and the whole Finnish synchro family supports them. Now it’s time to let the Jura Synchro readers know them. Interview of one skater of the team Matti Heinonen.
May we ask you to present your team?
Matti Heinonen: River Bulls was founded at the end of 2014 and now we have 15 skaters from age 23 to 53. We have different kinds of professions: there is one pharmacist, a salesman, an automation system designer, a sound man…also one retired farmer. This is a good combination to have interesting conversations between training. Our youngest member is like a mascot for us. “The Boy” like we call him is one of the best skaters of our team.
Where did you get the idea to found a team?
Matti Heinonen: It all began season 2013-14 when two of us were waiting and watching our daughters´ rehearsal. Suddenly the other one said: ” That seems to be so easy, maybe we should try it too? We know how to move in blocks because we have been in the army.”From this moment the idea started to live in our minds and after some months the first skating courses for men were arranged.
And how did you find a coach?
Matti Heinonen: We told about the idea to the head coach of our sports club Tiina Pesonen (ex-skater of Marigold Ice Unity). She promised to start with us if we can get together ten male skaters. The first objective was to perform in the skater’s party. We did that, but it wasn´t the end of the story!
Matti Heinonen: We want to give big thanks to Tiina “Tipe” Pesonen for her courage. She is an exceptional coach and without her, we couldn´t do this – she really took control of this herd of bulls. Our present coach Katja Viertoma has a good experience of single and synchronized skating and she is also a great coach.
In two summers we have trained with Marigold Ice Unity in their camp in Kuortane, near our hometown Seinäjoki. This has been as a “once in a lifetime experience” of which we are also very grateful. Sometimes we also train together with Riverettes, the other adult team of our sports club (only female). We want to thank them too.