17 December 2014
Jouki Tikkanen, member of the Finnish national team and her coach Titta Heikkilä have visited our capital to participate in training camp. The guests were impressed with conditions created at the National Gymnastics Arena, unique facility which will host gymnastics events during European Games in 2015.We have interviewed Titta about her impressions.
How do you like the National Gymnastics Arena?
Oh my God! It is the best gymnastics hall I have ever seen. And we are very happy to have a training camp here in Baku. This facility has all conditions for rhythmic gymnastics. In our hall in Finland we have three carpets and only one floor, while you have floors under each eleven carpets.
Did you enjoy working with our big team?
Sure. You have a good team, strong groups and individuals, strong coaches. As for Mariana - she is a star. She is so creative.
Can you tell us about Jouki Tikkanen, with whom you came to Baku?
Jouki ranked 22nd at the World Championships this year, while last year she was not able to get into the list of the strongest 24 gymnasts. She improved and we hope she will show better result next year and will qualify for Olympic Games.
As we know you were a gymnast in the past. Was it hard to change your lifestyle and to retrain for a new profession as a coach?
Yes. It is difficult to be proffesional coach in Finland, because usually you have another job and coaching is only a kind of hobby. We have a club which includes rhythmic and artistic gymnastics, trampoline and aesthetic group gymnastics. I coach rhythmic gymnastics and it is my main job. As I get older I find my job more easier.
Titta, you are visiting Baku for the first time, how do you like the city?
I liked Baku very much, it is beautiful. On the weekends we went to see the city and the Old City amazed us - it is so beautiful. Moreover, we noticed the contrast between it and the modern part as we saw the Flame Towers. Next we went upstairs to the Highland Park from where we enjoyed a bird's-eye view of the sea and all the city - the contrast was obvious.