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Stock photo: Kalevan kisat in Vaasa 2013. Photo: Pyry Keto

Article categories: News

Vaasa is getting ready for the Finnish Athletics Championships: Kaarlen Kenttä is being prepared for Kalevan Kisat

Published: 25.3.2024

The Finnish Athletics Championships, also known as the Kalevan Kisat, will be held in Vaasa from June 27 to June 30, 2024. It is one of the most significant national sports events in Finland, and the city of Vaasa has been preparing for it for several years.

Kalevan Kisat is expected to attract approximately 20,000 visitors to Vaasa throughout the event. The event is a collaborative effort among local sports clubs. The main organiser is Vasa Idrottssällskap, cooperating with Palosaaren Urheiluseura, Vaasan Toverit, Vaasan Vasama, Vähänkyrön Viesti, and IF Femman.

Mika Lehtonen, Director of Sports Services, explains that Vaasa City’s preparations for the event have begun already years ago.

One of the most visible upgrades is the new scoreboard, which was replaced last year.

– The new video scoreboard is 14.7 x 5.8 meters in size and features LED technology, allowing for the display of results as well as live video and replays. The old scoreboard was mechanical, Lehtonen explains.

The ends of the main grandstand will be enclosed with glass panels

Another extensive upgrade is that the ends of the main grandstand at Kaarlen Kenttä will get glass panelling.

– The main grandstand can be quite chilly when not in direct sunlight, so the glass walls will reduce wind and cold inside the stand, says Lehtonen.

The running tracks will be cleaned, and the lane markings will be repainted. Additionally, various smaller maintenance tasks will be carried out around the field, and the electrical and data cables throughout the field will be replaced.

The field’s equipment must also be in good condition for the games

– We will update various sports equipment, at least javelins, shots, bars, and hurdles. These will, of course, be available for use for all field users after the games, Lehtonen says.

Walking to take place in the surroundings of Onkilahti

The games will also have a significant impact on traffic. Special arrangements and parking area placements have been planned for some time, and more detailed information will be available closer to the event.

The Kalevan Kisat will also extend beyond Kaarlen Kenttä

– The men’s and women’s walking will take place on Onkilahti’s new pedestrian path, providing a beautiful sea view, Lehtonen explains.

Kalevan Kisat will feature top Finnish athletes as well as promising young athletes. Taking place between the European Championships and the Olympics, the games in Vaasa may see Finnish medallists from the Rome European Championships. These Finnish Championships also serve as one of the last opportunities for athletes to qualify for the Paris Olympics.

– We hope that residents of Vaasa will mark the dates of the competition on their calendars and join us in large numbers to support the athletes, Lehtonen concludes.