Skip to main content

On a double career – academy athletes build their working life abilities

Published on 16.11.2020
Tampere University of Applied Sciences
top athletes studying in Tampere- Ida Hulkko
Only a few Finnish top athletes make a living solely by sports, so even champions have to prepare for a future after their sports career. The cooperation between Tampere Universities and Tampere Sports Academy enables a combination of target-oriented top-level sports and studying.

“When the studies progress, confidence in the future increases, which may support good sports results,” states Tampere Sports Academy’s Development Manager Petteri Luukkainen.

The Finnish Olympic Committee has coordinated the national sports academy operation since 2007. The cooperation between educational institutions and sports academies aims at helping top athletes succeed both in sports and studies.

According to the Finnish Olympic Committee, Finnish sports strongly aim at enabling athletes to combine target-oriented sports with studying or another career in a balanced way. This way of thinking is called a double career. At their best, studying and sports complement one another.

There are several top athletes studying at Tampere Universities. Swimmer Ida Hulkko and High Jumper Ella Junnila started their studies at Tampere University this autumn. They both strive to represent Finland in the Tokyo Olympics in summer 2021. Alongside their training programme, Hulkko is studying English language and Junnila politics. Volleyball Player Markus Kaurto is at his second year of studies in biomedical laboratory science at Tampere University of Applied Sciences. He has his sights set on the European Volleyball Championship in Finland in autumn 2021.

According to the athletes, the combination of studies and training is an option thanks to the possibility to complete studies remotely based on personal timetables and with varying methods. Also, making the timetable well in advance helps everyone with time management.

Read more about the athletes’ thoughts on SportUni’s blog.

From the educational institution’s viewpoint, simultaneous advancement of both the sports career and academic studies bring the need for flexible examination times, a year off or modification of the study plan for example during rehabilitation after an injury. The supervising teachers and student counsellors are the key persons for top athletes in the Tampere Universities community.

 Tampere Universities have an effect on the Finnish top-level sports culture and athletes’ future success through their cooperation with Tampere Sports Academy. Tampere as a diverse sports and higher education city may also be an attraction factor when athletes consider their education options.


Tampere Sports Academy

Tampere Sports Academy ( is a sports cooperation network which supports athletes, coaches and sports clubs during athletes’ sports paths. Tampere University and Tampere University of Applied Sciences are its cooperation institutions. Tampere is one of the six Finnish top-level sports clusters in the Finnish Olympic Committee’s sports academy programme.


Text: Helena Collin, Leena Stenman

Photo: Ida Hulkko