“Finnish football will not evolve unless there is a dedicated coaching centre for it in Finland.” -Erik von Frenckell, FOUNDER
This idea by Erik von Frenckell, the then chairman of the Finnish Football Association, played a major role in the foundation of the Eerikkilä Sports Institute in 1949. Frenckell, who owned the Saari manor house in the parish of Tammela, sold 17 hectares of the land belonging to his estate to the Finnish FA for the foundation of a sports institute. The price was nominal, a mark per hectare. The location was ideal for football coaching and education.
EVERYTHING STARTED WITH FOOTBALL
Even though Eerikkilä switched hands in the early 1950s from the FA to an independent foundation, Palloilu Säätiö, football has played a central role in the evolution of Eerikkilä.
The first national team to visit Eerikkilä was the Olympic Team of 1952. The primus motor when planning for the future was to create conditions enabling all-year training. At the 10th anniversary celebration of Eerikkilä, Erik von Frenckell considered the lack of an indoors training area as a great hindrance to the operation of the centre.
DECADES OF CONSTRUCTION
The ground hall, with an area of 30 × 33 metres, was completed in 1968. As the operation grew with the passing years, more exercise facilities were constructed along with accommodation and dining facilities.
A football hall remained an essential goal for the development of Eerikkilä. In the early 1980s, the area of the ground hall was expanded to 30 × 60 m and the pitch was covered with artificial turf.
An important decision for the future of the institute was to turn Eerikkilä into a statutory sports institute in 1983.
The full-size football hall that had been dreamt of for almost 20 years, was finally opened in 1998. The hall has an area of 100 × 63 m. The pitch is surfaced with a crumb rubber synthetic turf.
THE INTRODUCTION OF FLOORBALL
With the completion of the new hall, the old hall was refurbished for the use of indoor ball games, particularly floorball. This also marked the beginning of close cooperation with the Finnish Floorball Federation.
The last two decades have been a time of hectic construction. Thus far, the construction work has included the main building Frenckell (1992), the football hall and the conversion of the sports hall for indoor ball game use (1998), the housing building Tammela (2002) and a 3rd generation heated artificial turf pitch (2005). In June 2012, Eerikkilä expanded further as the new hotel building was finished. A new football stadium was added in 2013.
Nowadays, Eerikkilä concentrates on the advancement of health and fitness in Finland and on offering training centre services specifically to football and floorball aficionados. In addition to this, the Sports Institute trains sports professionals and wilderness guides. The CEO of Eerikkilä is Mr. Petri Jakonen.
The Sami Hyypiä Academy founded in 2011 is located at Eerikkilä. It is dedicated to the development of football activities from childhood to adulthood in accordance with top-level sport requirements. The Academy operates on the basis of the strategies of the Finnish Football Association and the Eerikkilä Sports Institute as well as the football process report.
Sami Hyypiä Academy is the spiritual home of Finnish football training, research and development.
In the spring of 2015, Floorball Academy was founded to provide similar services to floorball players in collaboration with the Finnish Floorball Federation.