Sweat, smiles and cheers – Joo Basketball builds community spirit in Nokia

Marianne Korhonen
Marianne Korhonen

Joo Basketball

The training sessions of Joo Basketball at Nokia’s Harjuniitty sports hall always kick off with everyone gathering in the middle of the court and shouting out a resounding "Joo!". I'm here to join today’s session, and I instantly see how their ultimate goal of building community spirit really comes to life here.

Since January, Joo Kodit has been offering free basketball training sessions in Nokia, which are set to continue until the end of April. This initiative is part of Joo Group's mission to combat loneliness at home, a sentiment reported by as many as one in three people in rental housing, irrespective of the property owner. Participating in team activities is an easy way to meet and connect with others in the same neighbourhood.

The training sessions are led by the basketball club BC Nokia. The new team for women beginners was received with huge enthusiasm, with all 35 spots quickly filled.

Training where fun comes first

Vilhelmiina Uusitalo who recently moved to a new area, was encouraged by her colleagues to join Joo Basketball.

– To me, Joo Basketball means belonging in a community, learning something new, and enjoying team sports. Doing exercise together is loads of fun.

Joo Basketball

Vilhelmiina and Heidi

Basketball is a new hobby for Uusitalo (pictured left), and she says she has thoroughly enjoyed it.

– The training sessions have been really interesting and entertaining. We've also had a different coach for each session, and they've all given us new perspectives, she says.

A hall full of energy

During the training, we focus on technique, observing our teammates, and developing an eye for the game. I'm taken aback by how quickly I run out of breath, but even more by the incredible energy filling the hall. I instantly feel like part of the team, surrounded by endless laughter and cheering.

After the game, I catch up with Heidi Helminen (pictured right), who also emphasises the fantastic team spirit at Joo Basketball.

  • The best part is the team's great vibe. Everyone's training with a smile on their face. There's a ton of laughter and fun as we learn together, all while working up a good sweat.

Joo Basketball has received stellar feedback, with many participants expressing their desire to continue the hobby in the autumn.