With an agreement signed on Monday, Kajaani officially became the second venue for European Youth Olympic Games (EYOF) 2021, alongside Sotkamo. In Kajaani there will be all matches for boys hockey and for the first time also girls hockey. With the growing popularity of international youth ice hockey tournaments, ice hockey is expected to be one of the most watched sports in the EYOF 2021 and it gives Kajaani significant international visibility. Mayor of Kajaani Jari Tolonen is pleased that Kajaani is also getting its share of the Olympic flush. “The event brings both visibility and is an important builder of community spirit and cooperation between the municipalities and the volunteers”.
Kajaani´s involvement is also important for practical arrangements, as without the new training ice rink in Kajaani and the renovated competition hall, it would be very challenging to get through all the ice sports. Aleksi Nyström, City of Kajaani Sport Services Manager, is particularly pleased to have the opportunity to get Ice-hockey in the EYOF 2021 sports program of Kajaani. “The EYOF event will give a good boost to the activities of the Kajaani Ice Sports Clubs, which will surely be seen in the halls with even more users in the future. The event is also a good business card for Kajaani, for example, as a summer training ground for international hockey teams. ”
The conditions of Kajaani for the EYOF will be already tested this coming winter as the city hosts the Barents Winter Games event 27.-29.3.2020 for nearly 1,500 athletes, competing in 17 different sports. Barents Winter Games is a winter competition for young people (aged 15-25) with participants from Finland, Sweden, Norway and Russia.