Finnish Cricket Association receives Olympic recognition boost
Thu, Nov 18, 2010 1:27 PM
The Finnish Olympic Committee (Suomen Olympiakomitea) has announced that the Finnish Cricket Association (FCA) is one of three sports association who have been accepted as new members of the Finnish Olympic Committee in the meeting of the council this week.
Alongside the FCA, the Finnish Climbing Association and Finnish Student Sports Federation have also been accepted, which now totals 59 member associations within the Finnish Olympic Committee.
This is a significant step for the Finnish Cricket Association (FCA) which was only formed in 1999. Finland's first official cricket match was at the Olympic Stadium in 1952, followed by the introduction of the cricketing structure under the reigns of the Helsinki Cricket Club in 1970s; resulting in becoming an ICC Affiliate member in 2000.
Six years later Finland topped the ICC European Division 4 Championship and lead to promotion to Division 3; this was a fantastic achievement for the member country. Even with relegation back to Division 4 the following year, it showed remarkable progress for the Affiliate nation.
After receiving official status as a sport through the Ministry of Education and Sport in 2006, more funding opportunities from the state became available which resulted in the continual development of the domestic structure including the Developmental T20 League and Indoor League.
The announcement that the FCA has become accepted as a member of the Finnish Olympic Committee has been fantastic news for every involved at Cricket Finland, none more so than the driving force, The President of the Finnish Cricket Association, Andrew Armitage who said he was absolutely delighted with the recognition.
"This is a really huge step for cricket recognition in a 'non-cricket' nation such as Finland, where the Olympic movement can sometimes be seen as almost the driving and critical factor in attaining local sporting credibility," said Armitage.
The President of the Finnish Cricket Association seemed very keen to move forward with this recognition.
"On behalf of the FCA, I would like to extend our thanks to ICC for all their assistance in this process and now hopefully we can get the ball rolling further to get cricket on the Olympic playing agenda," he said.