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INTERNATIONAL SEAFARER’S SPORTS PRIZE GALA
IN
HELSINKI ON MARCH 8TH 2006
The prize event, which has experienced a revival over the past few years, was held in Finland this year. The gala was attended by seamen, shippfitter personnel and seamen’s service personnel from Estonia , Latvia , Germany , Sweden , Denmark and Norway . The prizes were distributed by the President of the Finnish Basketball Association, doctor Pentti Arajärvi.
     The event was held at the gym of the Helsinki Seamen’s Club, with an opening speech by the Executive Director of the Finnish Seamen’s Service Martti Karlsson. Welcoming speeches were also held by the President of the International Sports Committee for seafarers Lars Jörgensen and by sports coordinator Jörg Pfautsch.
    The largest prize was The Seven Seas Walport League football prize, which went to ms Regina Baltica. The Estonian football team of the passenger vessel Tallink had all show up in their playing shirts to receive their prizes. A few team members of the second team in the football league, Swedish-flagged Silja Symphony, were also able to attend thanks to being docked at the time.
Sweden was also represented by a few players from the successful Broströms table-tennis team.
      The Finnish prize-receivers were the Silja Serenade football team for a third place, the General Sports Ship of the Year Bravaden and Sports Ship of the Year Gabriella, and Seafarer Sportsman of the Year Pasi Rauhala. Tommi Ruuth and Ulla Häkkinen from the Silja office received the prize for the Serenade team. Pasi Rauhala’s and Bravaden's prizes were received by Executive Director for Engship "Bebbe" Engblom. The Kekkonen Pitcher was received by Gabriella’s skipper Reiska Sundell.
    The rare merit prize "Grand Lady of Scandinavian Seafarer's Sports" was handed over to the Chef-Steward on Msv Botnica Rauni Söderlund. This trophy was awarded for the first time, and was earned by Rauni both for her good results in the various competitions, and for acting as a splendid example for the more mature seafarer women in work safety matters. Rauni had already gotten on a plane to the
Gulf of Mexico , so the award was received by Matti Latvalahti from Finstaship.