The Jukola leading team is the engine behind the organization of the Jukola event. It operates almost invisible from orienteers, but during the past years, it has contributed to the development of Jukola event and is of very great importance. The leading team consists of representatives from the association Kaukametsäläiset, Finnish Military Forces (as an important sponsor) and the Finnish Orienteering Federation (Suomen Suunnistusliitto, SSL). A race controller is nominated by the SSL and there is a secretary selected by the leading team attending the meetings.
The principal function of the Jukola leading team is to manage and control the organization of the year in preparing a high quality event so that the continuity of the Jukola and Venla relays is secured. The leading team gives advice to the organizers, so that the competition can proceed according to the spirit, the traditions and the rules of Jukola. It also controls that the interests, and the responsibilities of all parties involved in the organization are respected.
Jukola leading team selects organizers. The leading team invites the interested parties to introduce their plans. It examines the circumstances of the candidates and decides the organizer. In the same way, the leading team determines entry fees and other payments. The organizer changes every year, but the supporting leading team remains the same. It accompanies the organizer towards the awareness of the traditions and rules on which the Jukola relay and the association Kaukametsäläiset is based.
The role of each member of leading team:
The event controller guarantees at high level of the Jukola organization that the relay complies with the rules, and ensures the fair play in the competition. He must also make sure that all the specific features of Jukola are taken into consideration. With such intentions, the event controller advises and guides the organizers of the year. Years 2001-2010, Mr. Arvo Kantola has been in responsibility and he has been also the secretary of the leading team. Heikki Peltola has started as the new event controller from the 2011 Jukola relay.
The strong points and the guiding principles of the Jukola relay are the following:
- The competition is organized each year in a different place in Finland, with the result that local aspects are also endorsed. The local organizers can influence the atmosphere so that the Jukola arrangement promotes their district. This explains why Jukola attracts every year 1200-1600 volunteers working thousands of hours contributing to the event and the competition.
- the organization is based on the traditions resulting from the spirit expressed in the book of a Finnish national author, Aleksis Kivi.
- the organizers are motivated and qualified.
- there is open transfer of information and experiences between the current and future organizers at the annual meetings of Jukola. The future organizers take part in these meetings to prepare themselves for arranging the next competition. They also familiarize themselves thoroughly with the various levels of the structure of the organization.
- the leading team and the event controller guarantee the continuity of the Jukola relay.