The Growth of a Game kicked off its 2019 camp season on February 23rd-24th with the Vantaa Skills Camp, held in the Helsinki region. The event was the first skills camp that The Growth of a Game has hosted in Finland and it represented the 15th camp that the organization has hosted in Europe since it was founded.
The Growth of a Game is committed to facilitating the development of American football in Europe. In alignment to its primary mission, we organize camps all across Europe to provide quality training to players and coaches looking to improve their skill level.
Over 140 participants attended the first annual Vantaa Skills Camp, including players and coaches from Finland, Russia, Estonia, Sweden, Belgium, Switzerland, and the United States. The camp focused on skill development for players 15 and over. In addition to player development, the coaching staff provided instruction to beginner and intermediate coaches in the form of on-field work.
The Vantaa Skills Camp was led by several of the top coaches in Europe, including Seppo Evwaraye, former offensive lineman for the Minnesota Vikings of the NFL and former head coach of the Wasa Royals in Finland; Tuomas Heikkinen, head coach of the Finnish National Team; Klaus Alinen, former tight end for the Atlanta Falcons of the NFL and current head coach of the Pori Bears U19 team in Finland; Iiro Luoto, former tight end for the New York Jets of the NFL and multiyear offensive lineman for the Finnish National team; Hugo Pointillart, head coach for Vantaa TAFT in Finland; Ilari Nikku, defensive line coach for Chabot College and the Helsinki Roosters in Finland; Anssi Nevalainen, former player and team captain for Averett University and former assistant coach for the Helsinki Wolverines in Finland; Tuomas Leinonen, defensive coordinator for the Seinäjoki Crocodiles in Finland; Stephen Stokes, former head coach of Vantaa TAFT in Finland; Janne Lehtinen, quarterbacks coach for the Finnish U19 National Team and starting quarterback for the Finnish National Team; Ville Palikainen, former offensive coordinator of the Porvoo Butchers in Finland, Okko Outinen, defensive line coach for the East City Giants in Finland; Tuomas Mankki, former wide receiver for the Finnish National Team and current wide receiver coach for the Finnish U15 National Development Team; Marko Vartiainen, running backs coach for Finnish National Team and assistant coach for the United Newland Crusaders in Finland; Arttu Tennberg, multiyear offensive lineman for the Finnish National Team; Sampo Ranta, defensive coordinator for the Finnish U19 National Team; Santtu Äyräväinen, linebacker coach for the Finnish U15 and U19 National Teams.
This camp was made possible by the contributions of various partners, including the City of Vantaa, Hotel Haaga Central Park, Battle Sports, Ceres Sports, Gear Pro-Tec, Korsisaari, Champro Sports, and Myyrmäki Halli.
To view photos of the event, click here.
To view a list of upcoming skills camps, click here.