Irina Ilmokari

70 Years of Sisu

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70 Years of Sisu , about the Finnish Sports Club of Canada called SISU. Sisu was founded in Toronto in 1949 and was one of 100 sports clubs established in Canada and the only one still in operation.

Sports have always been a part of Finnish life in both Finland and Canada. The Finnish immigrants brought their athletic way of life with them to Canada. Finns played ice hockey, which is definitely the biggest Finnish sport in the winter. They also brought Finnish baseball with them. Gymnastics was one of the sport that both men and women can participate. Athletic lifestyle had been ingrained into the social and psychological consciousness of Finnish people. They took sports very seriously and it became a way of life. The Finns took part in many Olympics and achieved many medals over the decades. SISU has been one of the largest sports clubs in Toronto for many years.

The book, 70 Years of SISU, published late last year when the Sports Club SISU celebrated its 70th anniversary. The book’s author Irina Ilmokari worked on the book for a couple of years, collecting material, photographs and interviewing athletes at the Sisu Club. 

Author Irina Ilmokari moved to Canada in 1970 and graduated from York University. She had a successful career at the Bank of Canada, but later wanted to do something that was closer to her heart – to write about Finnish history in Toronto. She has previously published a book, “From Lumber Camps to Corporate Corridors – Finns in the Toronto Area”. 

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