Working as secretary general of the Finnish Paralympic Committee Riikka Juntunen will take over as CEO of the Sports College Foundation at the beginning of May. Current CEO Jukka Hako will retire this year.
Juntus has 15 years of experience in managing a sports organization.
“He stood out from the group of applicants with his strategic expertise and his strong, suitable background for the task”, Chairman of the Board of the Sports Academy Foundation Perttu Puro told.
The Sports College Foundation distributes more than half a million euros annually in grants and project support.
“The Sports Academy Foundation has done long-term work for Finnish sports and physical activity. As the future managing director, I will continue to strengthen the foundation’s operations and highlight its social impact,” Juntunen said.
Juntunen got into the eye of the storm in his current job as secretary general of the Finnish Paralympic Committee a year ago, when it was revealed that he had submitted the organization’s state aid application for 2023 a day too late in December 2022.
In 2023, the Paralympic Committee was left without a grant from the Ministry of Education and Culture. The Paralympic Committee’s general grant in 2022 was more than two million euros.
The committee’s annual budget was more than three million in total, so almost two-thirds of the budget was lost due to the late application sent by the general secretary.
Despite the setback, Juntunen receives praise for his long work in para sports. He served as the Executive Director of Finnish Sports for the Disabled since 2010 and started as the Secretary General of the Finnish Paralympic Committee in 2020.
“After the unification, as the first general secretary, he has led the new Paralympic Committee to become a key player in the Finnish sports and sports field”, Chairman of the Board of the Finnish Paralympic Committee Sari Rautio said in the organization’s press release.