FSPA - 30 years of sports physiotherapy


The Start Pistol

Young physiotehapists Jussi Hietikko ja Antti Vuorinen met first time at a coaching seminar in Vuokatti 1978. They worked with athletes on a daily basis and shared  similar ideas of how athletes should be treated. This was when they decided to establish the association for physiotherapists intrested working with athletes. They contacted young athlete Heikki Hämäläinen who had just graduated from the physiotherapy school. 

Later they decided to meet at the track and field nationals in Seinäjoki and invited few other physioterapists they knew; Risto Kuitunen and Hannu Saarinen. FSPA was founded during the nationals and on top of that Heikki Hämäläinen won the gold medal in 4x400m relay.  That was "The Day" for the Finnish sports physiotherapy.

The ideology was to spread out the understanding, knowledge and practical skills of sports physiotherapy. The main mission for the association was to  organise courses in sports physiotherapy. In the beginning these five founding members conducted courses for their colleaques. Subsequently other domestic and international lecturers was invited to expand the quality of the courses. Another important priority was to broaden membership foundation which was possible when a physiotherapist had complited one of the available courses.


Competitions and Education

Early years of FSPA was pretty mush educating and being responsible for organising medical staff for different competitions. One of the biggest was the Athletics Worls Championships at 1983. The first olympic games for FSPA members was Lake Placid (1980). During that time the concept of  team sports physioteherapist was unknown and for that reason mr Antti Vuorinen was accreditated as a cook in the Finnish contingent.

1980's was busy times, FSPA educated over 600 physiotherapist as a sports physiotherapists. In the 80's FSPA liaised more closely with the Finnish Sports Medicine Association and  organised several seminars and workshops together.