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Finnish Defence Forces Sports School

The main task of the Defence Forces’ Sports School is to train reconnaissance squads for emergency and wartime conditions. In addition to military training, the Sports School enables sports training for talented athletes during conscript service.

The Defence Forces Sports School is located within the Guard Jaeger Regiment in Helsinki. The Sports School is also responsible for selection, coaching resources and reserve officer training of winter sports (biathlon, ski orienteering, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, ski jump and skiing for Nordic combined) athletes who serve in Kainuu Brigade.

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

Service duration: 347 days, rank-and-file duties 165 days

Contingent: Winter sports in April, Summer sports in October

Military training

The main task of the Sports School is to train reconnaissance squads for emergency and wartime conditions. Reconnaissance tasks in challenging conditions, with long periods spent away from friendly forces, set requirements for exceptionally good physical and psychological capacity. It is reasonable to train athletes for demanding military duties, taking advantage of the strengths and abilities that they already possess.

The length of the conscripts’ service period will be determined after the basic training phase, according to wartime-unit training obligations. About one third of the conscripts serving the Sports School are trained for rank-and-file reconnaissance duties in a reconnaissance squad or for other rank-and-file duties in the Reconnaissance Company, for example combat messengers.

Over half of the conscripts serving in the Sports School are trained as non-commissioned officers (NCO) for duties within the reconnaissance squad. Some of these include sniper NCO, reconnaissance forward observation NCO, wireless operator NCO and recce medical NCO.

Approximately 15 % are trained as reserve officers on the battalion’s own Reserve Officer Course. Most of the athletes mustering out as Second Lieutenants will be placed in reconnaissance squad as squad leaders, squad 2IC or reconnaissance forward observers. Additionally, from each contingent, a few athletes are trained as platoon leaders or intelligence officers.

Sports coaching and training

The goal of sports coaching is to help the athlete grow and develop in a comprehensive way, and thus facilitate their advance to the international top of their sport. The Sports School is a part of the Finnish training system for top-level athletes. Day-to-day training is done in cooperation with the Helsinki Metropolitan Area Sports Academy and for the conscripts selected to serve in the Kainuu Brigade, in the Vuokatti-Ruka Sports Academy. The Sports School also cooperates with the Olympic Committee, sports leagues, clubs and personal trainers to find the best individual solutions.

The Sports School is responsible for monitoring the overall stress of the athletes completing their military service. Additionally, the athletes have access to versatile testing and physiotherapy services.

Entrance Requirements

  • The athlete must be at the top of their age group in their sport either nationally or internationally.

  • The sport must be an Olympic or World Championship event or a sport that is widely played.

The sport and athlete selections of the Sports School is done based on expert statements of the different sports and the results of the aptitude tests.


Conscript service in the Sports School is based on voluntary applications. The application periods end every year on the last day of February (summer sports) and August (winter sports). Selections are held during calendar weeks 14 and 40. Selection exams include physical and psychological aptitude tests and a personal interview.


Summer sports

Winter sports

Application Period Ends

28 February

31 August

Selection Exams

Week 14

Week 40

Decision on Selection

Week 19

Week 45

Service Begins




Entry into the Sports School takes place through application via the Defence Forces E-Service:

When applying for voluntary military service for women in the Sports School, the application form must be submitted to the regional office by 1 March.

Those with professional masseur’s diploma can also apply to 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]