Etäkärpät support Oulun Kärpät ice hockey team
Oulun Kärpät is an ice hockey team from the city of Oulu. You can read more about the team on their home page at www.oulunkarpat.fi/english.php. The non-obvious part of the name – Kärppä (plural Kärpät) – comes from a small predatory mammal called an ermine, a weasel, or a stoat in English.
Etelä-Suomen Kärppäfanit ry stands for Kärpät Fan Club of Southern Finland. The short form of the fanclub is EtäKärpät which could be translated as "remote-weasels". The abbreviation comes from the fact that we are mainly located in Helsinki metropolitan area, over 600 km from the city of Oulu. However, we’ve been also constantly spreading to other Southern Finland cities. Especially, in Tampere, we have a strong division.
EtäKärpät was founded in September 2004 after the previous fan club was abolished. Some members of the old fan club wanted to continue supporting Kärpät as a registered association, so EtäKärpät was born.
The main purpose of the fan club is to support the Oulun Kärpät ice hockey team. Other purposes are contributing to good (proper) non-violent fan culture and awakening some old-fashion sportsmanship in the spectator stands. We believe that you should have fun during a hockey game. We support loudly our own team but we also respect the opposing team. You could call us roligans, which is an original Danish term contrary to hooliganism.
Yearly, EtäKärpät has ca. 350 registered members and 70 junior members. This makes us the largest Finnish ice hockey fan club that is not located in the team’s hometown.
Our main activities are linked naturally to the games that Oulun Kärpät play in the capital city region and elsewhere in Southern Finland; namely those against Jokerit, HIFK, and Blues in the Helsinki region and Tappara, Ilves, and HPK in the Tampere/Hämeenlinna region. Lahti and team Pelicans are visited too. Turku, Pori and Rauma especially during the weekend games. There aren’t many rinks where Kärpät don’t get a strong support in their away games. During weekends, we often arrange bus trips to Kärpät games also in more remote locations such as Lappeenranta or Kuopio, not to forget the home arena Raksila in Oulu. As almost all of our members have at some point lived in the Oulu region, it is always pleasant to visit the Good Old North. We also have parties to celebrate the start and the end of a season. And whenever Kärpät play somewhere outside of Finland, we’ll do our best to be there as well. You can reckognize us from our special fan-shirts and loud singing.
Having a good attitude and sense of humor is essential as we are most often supporting the away team in our relatively small (on some occasions not even that small, for the current record is almost 500 Kärpät fans in a single game) but loud group. However, that’s part of the fun ;)