Finnish Defence Forces Sports School

The duty of the Sports School of the Finnish Defence Forces is to train reconnaissance sections for exceptional circumstances. In addition to military training, the Sports School provides talented athletes with sports coaching during their military service.

The Sports School of the Finnish Defence Forces is located in the Guard Jaeger Regiment in Santahamina, Helsinki. The Kainuu Brigade located in Kajaani is the training location for athletes specialising in the following winter sports: biathlon, orienteering on skis, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, ski jump and Nordic combined.

Service location: Guard Jaeger Regiment, Helsinki / Kainuu Brigade, Kajaani

Service duration: 165 days, or 347 days for leaders

Contingent: Winter sports in April, Summer sports in October

Military training

The primary duty of the Sports School is to train reconnaissance sections for exceptional circumstances. Reconnaissance assignments in challenging conditions, while being extensively isolated from other troops, set high demands for exceptional physical and mental abilities. Athletes are trained for demanding military assignments by using their natural strengths and characteristics.

The service duration is determined according to troop production obligations following basic training. Approximately one third of the Sports School’s conscripts are trained in rank duties, to serve reconnaissance sections as reconnaissance specialists or the Reconnaissance Company as combat messengers, for example.

More than half of the Sports School’s conscripts are trained as non-commissioned officers for special assignments in reconnaissance sections. These include the duties of sniper NCO, reconnaissance fire control NCO, radio operator NCO and reconnaissance medic NCO.

Approximately 15 per cent are trained as reserve officers in the battalion-level unit’s own reserve officer course. These athletes mainly muster out as second lieutenants, and are assigned to reconnaissance sections as section leaders, section deputy leaders or reconnaissance forward observers. In addition to this, a few athletes from each contingent are trained as platoon leaders and reconnaissance officers.

Sports coaching

The goal of sports coaching is to educate and train athletes comprehensively, enabling their development onto an international top level. The Sports School is part of the Finnish coaching system for top athletes. Day-to-day coaching is carried out in collaboration with Pääkaupunkiseudun Urheiluakatemia (Helsinki sports academy) and the Vuokatti-Ruka Sports Academy. The Sports School also collaborates with the Olympic Committee, sports federations, clubs and personal coaches in order to find the best solutions for each individual.

The Sports School monitors the overall physical stress of athletes during their military service. In addition, athletes have access to various testing and physical therapy services.

Admission requirements

  • An athlete must be at a national or international top level in their sport and age group.
  • The sport must be included in the Olympic Games or World Championships or it must have a broad base of athletes.

Athletes are selected for the Sports School on the basis of different expert statements and aptitude tests.


Application for the Sports School is voluntary. Application periods end on the last day of February (summer sports) and August (winter sports). Entrance examinations are held during weeks 14 and 40. They consist of physical and physiological aptitude tests and a personal interview.


Summer sports

Winter sports

End of application period

28 February

31 August

Entrance examinations

Week 14

Week 40


Week 18

Week 44

Decision on selections

Week 19

Week 45 (week 47 in autumn 2019)

Start of service




Apply for the Sports School online:

Women can apply for their voluntary military service at the Sports School in accordance with the regular application process. The application form must be submitted to the regional office by 1 March. Individuals who have completed vocational sports massage training can also apply for the Sports School.



Online application:

Alternatively, paper applications, including their attachments, can be sent to:

Sports School of the Finnish Defence Forces
Guard Jaeger Regiment
PO Box 6
FI-00861 Helsinki, Finland

Additional information

Jari Karinkanta, Head of Coaching
+358 299 421 815
[email protected]