Sirpa Risto is a university sports coordinator, and she introduces us to the SYKETTÄ service.
SYKETTÄ was founded in 2014, and it includes sport services for the students and staff members of the University of Eastern Finland and Savonia University of Applied Sciences as well as students of HUMAK University of Applied Sciences and Uniarts in Kuopio. The core of SYKETTÄ is its diverse sports calendar which features more than 200 hours of weekly sports activities. The calendar takes into account all movers, from beginners to the more advanced. The goal is an active, social and healthy university community.
The sports calendar includes more than 60 hours of instructed group classes a week, almost 30 open ball games sessions, 25 weekly set shifts for groups of student and staff members and about 100 hours open times which you can book for yourself and then do the sport activity you want. Prices for the sports activities are very student-friendly and affordable.
The instructed sport classes SYKETTÄ offers are:
- Light classes – Foam Roller, Taiji, Physiotherapeutic Core
- Body overhaul – Body Balance, Stretching & overhaul, Water exercise
- Muscle toning – Pump, Abs & Booty, Sixpack30, Healthy Back
- Effective – Hiit45, Cross training, PowerHiit
- Dance – Zumba, Jazz, Reggaeton
- Pulse – Indoor cycling, BodyCombat, KickFit, and more
Flow yoga is the only class where instruction is in Finnish. In all the other classes international students can get instructions in English.
“The most popular activities are Indoor Cycling, Zumba, BodyCombat, Pole dance, Yoga classes and Futsal,” says Sirpa Risto. “I think those classes are so popular because they are a trend at the moment, they have very good instructors, and it is so easy and cheap to use SYKETTÄ.”
SYKETTÄ has both Finnish and international instructors, who are also responsible for open ball games like Futsal, Basketball and Floorball. There are possibilities to get a job as an instructor. When asked if she felt that more awareness about SYKETTÄ among international students is needed, Sirpa answers,
“That’s a good question. Sometimes I think international students are more interested in SYKETTÄ services than Finnish students, but yes, of course, we would like get more SYKETTÄ users. Because with SYKETTÄ you can get new friends, do some exercise and be happy!”
SYKETTÄ has three of its own sport facilities: Studentia (Yliopistonranta 3), Snellmania (Yliopistonranta 1) and Opistotie (Opistotie 2) here in Kuopio. These facilities include 2 large sports halls and 4 gyms. Partners’ sports facilities are located around the city: Elements Studio, Pole Center, Kunnonsali and Rauhalahti Spa.
The students and staff members of UEF and Savonia University of Applied Sciences as well as the students of HUMAK and Uniarts in Kuopio can join the SYKETTÄ sport services.
“We have some courses for those who don’t have a SYKETTÄ membership, and Sport Afternoons are for every staff member and student of Savonia University of Applied Sciences and UEF,” Sirpa says.
SYKETTÄ also has some special events: the newest ones are cooking events. There are also get-to-know sport events once a month.
SYKETTÄ adjusts its activities based on the feedback it receives.
“We mostly get positive feedback,” Sirpa says. “For example, ’It was a great class, please don’t stop it, the instructor was great!’ Then we get feedback like, ’Can you buy a new machine for the gym,’ or that something is broken, or whether it is possible to try something new and so on. We buy new equipment if we can and fix broken things. Also, we modify the sports calendar as much as we can. We try new classes and change our timetable.”
Some final words from Sirpa for anyone pondering whether to join SYKETTÄ activities:
“Come and enjoy our facilities, and make new friends, and feel good!”
SYKETTÄ calendar and other details can be found by the link: https://sykettä.fi/kuopio/en/
Interview and text: Tiia Alina Heikkinen, Student Ambassador of the Programme