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Finnish Football Star Targets European Championships After Receiving University Scholarship

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One of the stars of Finland’s American Football team has been given a financial boost by the University of Worcester ahead of the sport’s forthcoming European Championships.

Okko Outinen, a third year Environmental Science student, has been awarded a University Scholarship to help him fund his ambition of representing his country at the championships in Austria in May.

Okko, who took up the sport three years ago and plays as a defensive line for his national team, says he is delighted to receive the scholarship, which will enable him to prepare for the tournament with his Finnish team-mates while studying in Worcester.

“I feel very good about the scholarship,” he explains. “It will help me out, especially when it comes to attending national team events.

“It is a great honour to represent my country, and it would be a shame to miss these opportunities due to lack of money.”

Finland has an impressive record in previous European Championships, winning five of the twelve tournaments held since 1983.

On this year’s tournament, Okko says: “I’d love to help us win the competition, but a secondary and more realistic goal is to finish in the top three, which will mean we earn a spot in the World Championships, which will be held in Sweden next year.”

Looking further ahead, Okko says his long-term goal once he has completed his degree at the University of Worcester is to move to the United States of America to play the game professionally.

The University Scholarship Panel aims to benefit students who undertake extra-curricular activities in areas such as sport, music and the arts. They consider each applicant, with the next deadline for submission on March 1st 2014.