Sport is close to Veli-Pekka Suomalainen’s heart. VPS has supported several individual and team sport athletes and teams over the years.Sport is close to Veli-Pekka Suomalainen’s heart. VPS has supported several individual and team sport athletes and teams over the years.

The most successful in international fields has been, at least so far, triple jumper Heli Kruger (née Koivula), who won silver in the European Championships in Munich in 2002.

Over the years, VPS’ “stable” has included runners Johanna Manninen, Sari Keskitalo, Stefan Koivikko and Niclas Sandells and high jumper Heikki Taneli. VPS has sponsored, for example, football clubs HJK and VPS and ice hockey club Jokerit.

- Many sportspersons pay a large share of their camp and other expenses themselves. By sponsoring them we want to help talented people’s journey to the top of the world. Of course, it also offers visibility for the company, says Suomalainen.

Nea-Amanda aims at the Tokyo Olympics

Swimmer Nea-Amanda Heinola, aged 18, has two demanding goals for 2020. She wants to both graduate from upper secondary school and take part in the Tokyo Summer Olympics.

- The qualifying limits of the Olympics are still annoyingly far, but still quite close. Through hard work and practice it is possible for me to meet the qualifying limits, Nea-Amanda thinks in February 2019.

VPS supports the Nummelan Kisaajat representative Nea-Amanda’s journey to the swimming top of the world. In 2018, the young prospect won a total of five medals in the senior series in the long lane at the Finnish Championships. In the same year, Nea-Amanda took part in the Junior Swimming Championships in Argentina. There, her best placements were 14th in the 50-metre freestyle and 15th in the 200-metre medley.

- My strengths include speed and versatility. I like competing alone, and I find the water a fun element, she explains.

Nea-Amanda’s family moved to Nummela in Vihti when she was 7 years old. That is also when she started her swimming hobby. Nea-Amanda’s current coach is Esa Sievinen, who coached his own son Jani Sievinen to win Olympic silver and to become a world champion. In addition, Jani Sievinen is a Word Championships, European Championships and Finnish Championships medallist many times over.

- Esa is the best coach I have had. He is extremely determined and thorough, describes Amanda.

She trains in a pool ten times a week. During one training session, Nea-Amanda swims four to five kilometres. In addition, she skis and goes to the gym.

Nea-Amanda says that the support of VPS is important to her. The cooperation began in 2018. The sponsorship agreement enables, for example, camps in Spain, where she gets to train in a 50-metre lane, which is the same as in an Olympic pool. Furthermore, you can focus on swimming 100 percent in a camp.

- It is important to train in a long lane and nicer to go abroad, because it takes your mind off everyday life.

Nea-Amanda’s goal for 2019 is to make it to the senior European Championships in Great Britain and the World Championships in Korea.