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Ms. Anna Laukkanen – I have done my TD job with high responsibility and enjoyed working with my ITO staff in Sofia

Ms. Anna Laukkanen of Finland is one of the most experienced European Technical Delegates and she has the strict control on all of the events where she works and covers all areas with professionalism. Ms. Anna Laukkanen has got more than one decade of experiences as official in the competitions and supported the successes of dozens of championships.

She worked in an important role, as Technical Delegate in the previous EUBC Youth European Boxing Championships which was a great success in the Bulgarian capital for all of the participating teams, the LOC and the delegations. The European Boxing Confederation asked her about the continental event, her work and Tampere’s boxing life.

What was your opinion about the LOC and the organizational level of the EUBC Youth European Boxing Championships?

The Bulgarian Boxing Federation has no doubt the most experienced LOC in Europe and as always they produced a high level event for all of us to enjoy. The most important feedback comes from the teams and they were all pleased with the organization. 

What do you think about the level of the championships in comparison to the previous years?

I have been working at the last three editions of the EUBC Youth European Boxing Championships and the young talents in our continent amaze us everytime. The numbers were high this year which shows great interest towards the championships.

Could you please introduce your work as Technical Delegate?

The role of the Technical Delegate comes with a big responsibility. Basically we are on alert 24/7. The days start well before the daily weigh-ins and the work continues after everyone else are already asleep. It’s a lot of work but it all pays off when you see a successful event running, people working together to reach the same goal and everyone enjoying the athmosphere only boxing can provide.

Personally I enjoy working with people who take their work seriously, respect the team of officials and the LOC and focus on giving their best performance on the Field of Play and other positions according to their appointments. We are all volunteers, of course we all hope to meet new people and enjoy seeing the world, but most of all, we all need to be responsible and bring on our top level professionalism. 

What were the main benefits and strengths of this championship?

The IBA Youth Men’s & Women’s World Championships will be held later this year in Spain and the EUBC Youth European Boxing Championships in Sofia offered a perfect place for the European teams to see how their boxers perform at the moment. With this experience they now know what needs to be done during to summer to ensure the European boxers will reach top places in November.

Did you see new talents in Sofia? Do you have any new favourite boxers?

Yes of course, I saw many new talents. I prefer not to have any favourite boxers, as being a competition official it is best to stay neutral. England’s super-heavyweight talent Enriko Itauma impressed all of us in Sofia and from the women’s side Serbia’s Sara Cirkovic and Norway’s Sunniva Hofstad seem to excel in their weight categories.

Which nations developed mostly in your opinion?

I don’t follow individual nations’ progress in that way but it was great to see many smaller boxing countries to reach the finals and win medals. I believe it was the total of 29 countries that won medals in Sofia.

What were your main problems during the event and how to do you solve them?

I wouldn’t say that we had problems but of course some challenges always appear and it’s our job to overcome those. The championships were originally scheduled to be boxed in seven days, but as we had 377 boxers after the Sport Entries Check. We had to change the rest day to a competition day as well to be able to run the event.

How your ITO and R&J teams worked in this event? Were you satisfied with their performance?

Due to various reasons, we had a quite small ITO team in Sofia but they all worked hard each day. The ITO team was combination of experienced and new officials that all worked well together in Sofia. For the R&Js, the event was tough – just imagine eight days of boxing without a rest day, two rings and only 21 Referees & Judges. That meant judging even 4-5 bouts in a row so they did well, proper troopers I must say.

How is Tampere’s boxing life nowadays and what are the situations with your upcoming international events as the Pirkka this May and the Tammer in 2023?

Thank you for asking, it sure has been difficult the past two years with the Covid-19 pandemic. We are slowly getting back to normal and the 34th Pirkka Tournament for the 11-18 years old boxers will be held in the upcoming days. It’s a great opportunity for the young boxers to test their level on club teams in an international event.

Our flagship event is of course the Tammer Tournament which was cancelled in 2020 and postponed from 2021 to January 2022. It was sad to see the event without spectators but we will be back again this November in 2022 with the 42nd edition. In Finland the tournaments are fully organized by the LOCs and not the Federation so ticket and VIP sales play a huge role in the success of the event.  We have hosted teams from over 80 countries throughout the years since 1977 and look forward to see many again coming to Tampere in just six months.