Finnish national game pesäpallo is rapidly getting international. Next level will be reached next year when Pesäpallo World Cup tournament will be played first time in Asia. Pesäpallo association of India will host the tournament in Pune, India from November 27th until December 1st.
History of pesäpallo in India is unique. Founder and organizer of pesäpallo in India Chetan Pagawad came across videos in the YouTube and got interested in the game. Words became deeds and consultant advices were given from Finland to help to launch a new sport. Nowadays pesäpallo activities have even spread from India to neighboring countries.
– Our aim is to organize successful World Cup Tournament in Pune, India 2019 and have participating teams from many Asian countries like Bangladesh, Bhutan, Malaysia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand. I wish Indian team will challenge Finnish teams in all series. World Cup Tournament is an important event which helps us to spread the the game at grassroot level, Chetan Pagawad says.
Teams from Australia, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Japan, Sweden and Switzerland have participated in the Pesäpallo World Cup tournaments earlier as well as Team India and Team United States which were newcomers in Turku, Finland 2017. Finnish national sport has rapidly become international.
– Data communications and networks bring nations from all over the world closer to each other even though there may be long geographical distances. It means that pesäpallo has now a big and historical opportunity to achieve success globally too, not forgetting to put efforts on the activities in Finland. World Cup tournament is certainly an interesting experience to all participants, Jussi Pyysalo from Pesäpallo Association in Finland says.
History of pesäpallo World Cup tournaments began in Helsinki 1992. The tournament has also been host by Hyvinkää (Finland) 1997, Melbourne (Australia) 2000, Södertälje (Sweden) 2003, Munich (Germany) 2006, Pori (Finland) 2009, Gold Coast (Australia) 2012, Lucerne (Switzerland) 2015 and Turku (Finland) 2017. Next tournaments will take place in Pune, India from November 27th until December 1st and in Hyvinkää, Finland 2022 as part of Pesäpallo 100 years festivities.
So far Finland has won all the championships, but other nations are challenging with growing enthusiasm.
– Pesäpallo has a bright future in India. We wish we could launch an international competitive series in the future, Pagawad suggests.
– It has been astonishing to notice how Finnish pesäpallo has spread in Asia in a short time. Interest has even been awakened in Africa, Tanzania. The all-time record of Pesäpallo World Cup tournaments was reached in Turku, 2017 where teams from seven different countries participated in the tournament. I think we have now a very good chance to break the record again, Pyysalo says.
India and Pune are exotic travel destinations for both experienced travelers and beginners. There are plenty of attractions to see and explore.
– Pune has an interesting historical background. It´s surrounded by scenic hills and there are many attractions for travelers. Thinking about Europeans climate is also milder, Pagawad says.
– The World Cup is now played during the off-season in Finland so Finnish pesäpallo enthusiasts have a great chance to attend the tournament ja experience something extraordinary and amazing, Pyysalo concludes.