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The President of the Republic of Finland and his spouse Jenni Haukio have significant roles in Joensuu-Jukola

Mrs. Jenni Haukio, the Spouse of the President of the Republic of Finland, has agreed to become the patroness of Joensuu-Jukola. Simultaneously as Mrs. Jenni Haukio was invited as the patroness, President of the Republic Sauli Niinistö was asked to receive the Message of Jukola, which is dedicated to Finland celebrating its centenary of independence. Usually the Message of Jukola is kept a secret until the anchor of the winning team finishes the race, but Joensuu-Jukola will be an exception, since the traditions related to the Message can thus be linked to the programme for the centenary of Finland’s independence.

Kalevan Rasti will organize Joensuu-Jukola in the challenging, hilly, North-Karelian terrain of Eno, Joensuu, June 17th and 18th 2017. Over 16,000 competitors and all in all 40,000 people will enjoy the competition atmosphere in Eno. During the competition weekend, YLE (Finland’s national public service broadcasting company) will broadcast the relays live.

Jukola Relay has become Finland’s biggest sporting event for adults. Its unique atmosphere attracts both top orienteers as well as sport enthusiasts of all kinds. Volunteers play a significant part in organizing the Jukola and are a vital item in creating the Jukola atmosphere.

Jukola Relay has had a patron since 1957. Former female patrons have been Minister of Defence Elisabeth Rehn in 1994 and President of the Republic Tarja Halonen in 2005. President of the Republic Sauli Niinistö acted as the patron of Kuopio-Jukola in 2014.

– We are so delighted to have Mrs. Jenni Haukio as the patroness of this event. A week before the Finnish Midsummer festival this internationally appreciated orienteering relay will gather not only orienteers but also lots of spectators and officials to enjoy the Jukola in Joensuu, Eno. The slogan of our competition is “Be part of the story”. This and the Finland 100 theme “Together” both represent our goals for this event, says Arja Makkonen, the first female Competition Manager of Jukola.

Finland 100 Venla Relay is the 40th Venla relay. Venla Run, an individual race for women with a mass start was for the first time organized in 1951 and it was turned into a relay in 1978 as the amount of runners grew.

– The first estimate of the amount of teams for Joensuu-Jukola can be made in February 2017. Organizing the Jukola Relay relies on a huge amount of volunteers. Our goal is to have 1,500 volunteers participating in the organization of Joensuu-Jukola, says Arja Makkonen.

Environmental issues are important in Joensuu-Jukola. Nature is appreciated by planting one hundred spruces nearby the competition center. This will be done together with the international web school Environment Online – ENO. Joensuu-Jukola will follow the environmental programme Ekokompassi. Recyclable, nature-friendly materials will be sought and the usage of paper will be reduced by using electronical means of marketing and communication. Local products will be utilized as much as possible.