The 2017 Prize Giving Ceremony of the Finnish Motorcycling Federation (SML) took place at the Sibelius Hall (Sibeliustalo) in Lahti, 100 km north of the capital Helsinki. The Sibelius Hall is a modern wooden congress and concert centre and the home of Lahti Symphony Orchestra. Johan Julius Christian („Jean“) Sibelius (1865 – 1957) is widely recognized as Finlands greatest composer. Above, the Sibelius Hall.
From left, FIM Europe President, Dr. Wolfgang Srb, Lenni Klemetti (Road Racing NSF 100 European Championship # 2), SML President, Tapio Nevala and SML Secretary General, Kurt Ljungqvist. Photo credit: Mikko Käkelä
SML President Tapio Nevala and SML Secretary General Kurt Ljungqvist welcomed many riders, their families, clubs, organizers, officials; all in all around 500 guests. Prizes were given to the top three in each of the following disciplines: Road Racing, Vintage Road Racing, Ice Road Racing, Drag Racing, Motocross, ATV, Supercross, Watercross, SuperMoto, Trial, Enduro, Snowmobile Enduro and Cross Country. SML is a very active Federation and plays also a strong role in the context of the Nordic Motorsport Council, one of the six Regional Associations of FIM Europe.
From left, SML staff, Ville Salonen, SML gala master of ceremonies, Mervi Kallio (MTV Sport News TV speaker), SML staff, Jussi Pitkähalme, Sirpa Räsänen, Ari Raivonen, FIM Europe President, Dr. Wolfgang Srb and SML Secretary General, Kurt Ljungqvist. Photo credit: Mikko Käkelä
René and Angela Liekens and presenter Mervi Kallio and Kurt Ljungqvist
“The Award Ceremony in Lahti was perfectly organized. The riders received their well-deserved medals in a ceremonial atmosphere and discussed already plans for the 2018 season”, stated FIM Europe President Dr. Wolfgang Srb. “A very special moment was when René and Angela Liekens – legendary Motocross enthusiasts from Belgium – were called on the stage to receive a token of appreciation for their invaluable support of Finnish Motocross riders in the last 50 (!) years.”