November 12, 2021

Our cooperation with local sports service companies provides a win–win for both parties: our employees have access to low-threshold sports activities, and the businesses gain increased opportunities and year-round demand.

Laura Peippo, owner of the Levi Wellness Club (LWC), and Juuso Laitinen, owner of the Aslakin liike gym, have both been locally well-known sports personalities for some time already. Year 2013 marked the beginning of both of their sports careers in Kittilä. At that time, Laura, who had come to Lapland to work as a restaurant cook, decided to leave the catering business, start work at LWC, and study to become a personal trainer. Juuso had just graduated as a sports industry professional from Rovaniemi University of Applied Sciences and was returning home to Kittilä.

Juuso had been thinking about founding a gym of his own for a long time, but the final incentive to start a company came unexpectedly.

“I was visiting the current premises of Aslakin liike, when the owner, all of a sudden, presented me to his business partners as the new owner. That took me by surprise, but that’s where it all eventually started,” says Juuso smiling. After a few years of intensive work at LWC, Laura was offered the opportunity to buy the business. “It was a natural solution because I had been really actively involved in the company’s operations. I thought, of course, you cannot sell it to anyone else!” says Laura, laughing.

Mine staff trainers

Both of the entrepreneurs have been cooperating with the Kittilä mine for several years. Both Laura and Juuso find the cooperation meaningful. “Thanks to the Kittilä mine, LWC can operate year-round and offer jobs. Cooperation with the mine is a large part of our overall operations,” says Laura. Juuso agrees and says that: “Cooperation has always been easy and natural. The Kittilä mine appears to have a positive attitude toward physical activity and wellbeing.”

In the future, both will be thinking about ways to create possibilities to exercise at the mine and increase physical exercise in the daily lives of the employees. “You should be able to incorporate occupational well-being in your work and shifts. Rescuers have physical exercise included in their working hours—could the same apply to miners, too?” wonders Laura. The entrepreneurs have plenty of ideas to promote physical activity. “Why not have a dedicated ‘staff trainer’ at the mine?” says Juuso.

However, in order to increase occupational well-being, both Laura and Juuso suggest something other than specific workout instructions. “The most important thing is to do something. The first objective can be simply to take your sneakers out in the closet,” says Laura. Both emphasize thinking well-being as a whole and lowering your goals. “Loosen your expectations! That is a good start,” say both Juuso and Laura.