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Case Studies

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Collection of case studies of school students who succeeded in balancing school career with the passion for sport.

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Name of the student:
Jenna and Jonna Front


Name of the School:
The upper secondary school of Mäkelänrinne
School Typology:
Upper secondary
PB 3808, 00099 City of Helsinki (postal address) Mäkelänkatu 47, 00550 Helsinki 55
+358 9 310 82343 + 358 50 469 5686
Web site:


The Context:
We have practiced sports since we were small girls. We started to play football at the age of 12. One of the reasons for starting football was that our father used to play, too, when he was young.
We are and have been supported by our parents, friends, teachers in Mäkelänrinne school and coaches. When we were younger, our parents took us to the practices and took care of our training equipment. Our father used to play with us in our free time and football is a common hobby also among us and our friends. Our teachers understand that football comes at the first place and our studies follow. Distance studies is possible sometimes, if we cannot go to school, teachers understand if there are absences because of football and they don’t give us too much tasks to do at home. Our coaches have supported and helped us to develop individually and according to our personal objectives.

Sports and practicing in team help us to get along well with other people. We have to think always the best of the whole team and get along with different kinds of people.

The infrastructure and equipment of our school is EXCELLENT, probably the best quality in Finland. The sport equipment and the gym are excellent, we can use the gym for free and whenever we want to. There is a swimming pool (50 meters) and the services of a physiotherapist available whenever we need. The school has also ordered uniform training suits for all of us. The coaching provided by the PE at school is of high quality and available for us all the time. The school PE is connected to each student’s own sport training and is continuous, uniform and personalized.
The PE at school is of high quality, there is a big variety of sports available. The teachers demand a lot from us, but also offer and give opportunities for us. Every one of us is considered as an athlete / sports woman at school and is treat like that. This forces you to give your best there and it also effects on the common atmosphere at school: everybody wants to do their best at school too. When you compare our school to “normal” schools, this seems to be varied and of very high quality.
We think that the level of support for sports in Finland depends a lot of the region where you live and of your family. If you manage to get into a sport team, you may get more support from many parts. We think that the influence of your family is very important: you receive the model and input there. Probably there is a place for improving the support on a national level.
Balancing Sport and Education:
Minimum 20 hours per week in the winter season, and 15 hours in the summer season.
For studying we spend time at school appr. 6 hours per day, a couple of hours for homework per week + tests.
The time that we spend for football practices has arisen so much that it reduces the time that we can spend on studying. It is good that we can sometimes do our homework at school in the end of the lessons. The teachers also point out the most important tasks and exercises which helps our studies.

The success that we have achieved on our school career:
Nomination in the Finnish National Team of Women football
Finnish Cup, women; 2nd place
Finnish championship U15: 3rd place
Active players in HJK football team, women ( )

The success at school:
We have almost gone through the school (upped secondary, general studies), and have also started the final exams in matriculation examination with the first subjects.

The reason why we chose the school of Mäkelänrinne is sports. The school helps us to combine sports and studies, even though it demand a lot from its students and it is quite hard to get into the school. However, if you are good / professional at sports, you don’t have to have so high grades in school subjects, which is good.

It is difficult to say if your school performances were better if we did not practice any sport. Basically we think that sports do not have a great influence on studies. Our performances in sports helped us to get into the school, however. It could also happen that if we did not practice sports seriously we could either be very good at school, doing nothing else than studying, or not caring at all studying. Hard to say…

The way how Mäkelänrinne school works is excellent. It is well designed and modelled. Everything is well planned in advance for supporting young sportmen / sportwomen. Your own attitude affects a lot on your success. If compare our school to “normal” schools, we are very much ahead. We guess there is a lot of improving at the normal schools.
Future Perspectives:
We would like to continue our studies, perhaps to some good University, to become a doctor for example. We would like to wave good professions and jobs.
When thinking of our goals in football, we would like to get a strong role at the team and In the league. Our goal is to win a medal as a team (HJK women). Another goal is to win the Finnish Cup. We aim at continuing football as long as we enjoy it.

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This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This web site reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.