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Jaana Karhila lives in Levi during the winter and spends the summertime in the south. She is the primus motor behind the Levi Alpine Ski Races. This is what she has learned from voluntary work.
JAANA KARHILA puts on her ski boots, places her skis on her shoulder and walks to the Zero Point ski lift. All while typing a WhatsApp group message.
On the slopes. Anyone joining me?
Someone always does: local children and youth she has taken under her wing, who she skis with, goes to pick berries with, tries hot yoga or eats with at a restaurant.
There are actually three reasons.
1. On the right side
When Jaana’s own children were little she had two options: either stand in a fur coat by the ski run in the southern town of Kauniainen or wade in the snow and join them. Jaana chose the snow.
- The sport itself is not as important as the children and the young you are able reach through it.
Jaana ended up founding and running the Kauniainen Alpine ski school that had over 800 children learning the secrets of the sports. Jaana was teaching the wedge position and considered it, in fact, as outreach youth work. The young teachers not only got some pocket money but learned about employment and taxes. Jaana wanted to keep the youth, her own as well as other, on the right side of things. On the side where you have a future, plans and dreams.
- When a young person learns something new, they are in a good place. I guess that’s all that people need.
2. Don’t stay on the couch
When she was younger, before the children, Jaana had two steady jobs. First as a flight attendant in the sky, then, on her days off, working as a nurse in a hospital.
- I had plenty of time to sleep in Las Palmas.
Seven years ago during her leave of absence Jaana went to Levi to work as a nurse. Not long after that she had already become the Chief of Race at the Levi Ski Club events, was part of the Ski Patrol and was teaching at the ski school. She will be teaching this winter, too. Furthermore, she always had time for friends’ children and the local youth who needed someone to teach them and inspire them.
- Time is a question of organisational skills. The more you do, the more you find time so you can do things. You need to come up with something to do otherwise life goes to waste.
3. Raise your hand
Each November Jaana is assigned with rallying up almost 400 volunteers for the Alpine Ski World Cup in Levi. The group will make sure that each aspect of the world-class event will be a success. In 2016 she was named the Trailblazer of the Year for her contribution to the Finnish Alpine sports.
The fact that the volunteers will travel to Levi from all over Finland is not odd in Jaana’s opinion. It just takes time, determination and determination to use time.
That’s how the WhatsApp group came about.
It’s my choice if I send a message that I’m heading for the slopes. I always receive more than I give. Teaching is also something you can do in so many ways. You can concentrate on how to angle the hips or you can circle the fell and have a cup of hot chocolate. When we are at a restaurant with the children, we are also learning how to behave there. Discipline is needed but you also need to be able to show that you care and love.
DID YOU KNOW? Jaana Karhila travelled to the 2018 Winter Olympics held in South Korea in February. She is the second woman ever to work as a Technical Delegate for the Alpine skiing events.
Photo: Leena Oravainio