Book an appointment
Knowledge base

On the way to the Paralympics – flexible work at Pinja enables goal-oriented sports

 On the left, a man wearing headphones standing in front of the medals in a data lovers shirt and on the right, a man holding a spear

Valtteri Ranua, who works as a Customer Support Specialist at the Kempele office, has been a Pinjan since 2019. In his work, he is responsible for the customer support of the Total ERP by Pinja system. In his spare time, he keeps himself busy with a rare sport, namely javelin throwing. His goals are set high: Valtteri aims to represent Finland at this year’s Paralympics.  

Goal-oriented javelin throwing requires a lot of effort from Valtteri, both in time and physically. His dedication has paid off, as in 2023 he won gold at the World Dwarf Games.

My colleagues have provided me with a good feeling for training and competing. It helps when I know that I have my own supporters cheering me on.

After the competition, Valtteri rehabilitated his strained throwing arm for a few months, but the world championship motivated him to continue goal-oriented javelin throwing. He quickly found himself a coach, with the help of which he continued training and set himself the target to apply to the Paralympics, which seemed distant at the time. 

He could not have promoted his sports dreams without a supportive work community. 

– I have received a lot of encouragement from the Kempele office and my team and a very flexible framework for working, Valtteri says.

Flexible work enables a demanding sport

The 2024 Paralympics will be held in Paris at the end of August. Valtteri had a strict routine in the winter: training four or five days a week, in the summer an average of three to four times. 

Flexible work and the possibility to adjust working hours have been essential for Valtteri. He has been able to agree with his supervisor on working hours and persons filling in for him according to practices and competitions, for which he is grateful. In addition to this, Pinjans have a hybrid model at their disposal, which enables remote working as well.

– Of course, it makes it a lot easier for me that I can go to training right after work, and I don’t have to spend time commuting to the office every day, he says.

Winners of the World Dwarf Games Javelin throw 2023

Valtteri's victory at the World Dwarf Games 2023

At the moment, the whole team works at the office for one week each month, but otherwise you can freely work from home. Remote work practices and the team’s working methods have suited Valtteri well, and he has never had to choose between work and javelin throwing. 

– A big thank you goes to Pinja and my department, who have created a caring atmosphere. Employer support and flexible work are not self-evident for such a big goal as the Paralympics.

Interest in javelin throwing has continued for a long time

Finland’s representatives at the Paralympics are decided by the top sports unit of the Finnish Olympic Committee. Valtteri is aware that top results are required for selection and that he is still somewhat of a newcomer. Nevertheless, the enthusiasm is strong, and Valtteri has expressed his enthusiasm to represent Finland internationally as well. In January, Valtteri participated in the Finnish para-athletic championship in the javelin and shot put. The results were good: Valtteri won gold in the javelin and made a new Finnish record, while he won silver in the shot put. 

Valtteri’s javelin hobby started at a young age. In his own words, he has “tried a little bit of everything”. He got really excited about track and field after watching it a few times. 

– In elementary and middle school, my friends and I fetched birch sticks from the forest, made spears out of them and threw them. I got a practice spear at some point, and that’s where it all started, Valtteri describes.

He is anxiously waiting for the Olympic Committee’s selection results, but no matter what happens, the goal-oriented hobby will continue. Flexible work and a supportive work community that has actively been interested in the progress of the training and even collected funds for Valtteri’s competition travel have supported Valtteri a lot.

– My colleagues have provided me with a good feeling for training and competing. It helps when I know that I have my own supporters cheering me on. I can’t influence the selection decision other than by throwing far enough. If course it would be great to join, Valtteri sums up.

The Para-olympics

  • The Para-Olympics are held every two years in summer and winter. The 2024 Summer Paralympics will be held in Paris from 28 August to 8 September.
  • An athlete can be selected for the World Cup or European Cup competitions of the general category, if they meet the result criteria defined in the selection system of the Finnish Athletics Federation. The result limits are based on the results from the previous elite competitions. 
  • By reaching the result limit, the athlete has a realistic chance of getting into the top eight in the World Cup competition or the top six in the European Cup competition.
  • Athletes from outside the result limits set by the Finnish Athletics Federation can also be selected for elite competitions, if they meet the minimum criteria of the organizers of the competition, based on the discretion of the coaching management and the sport manager.

Source: Finnish Athletics Federation

Read more

The remote work week of the Business Intelligence team in Ruka – a new project manager started work in an exceptional way
Open positions
Sustainable operation is about daily actions and choices
Community at work is an important factor for many people – this year was full of events for Pinja
Total ERP by Pinja -an ERP system that keeps your company’s processes flexible and changeable
Check out Pinjans' career stories