AALE KASK-ONG 26. okt. 2011

Sydney Eesti Spordi Klubi on juba ammu sulgenud uksed. Eesti Päevadel on sport vaeslapse rollis. Kõigest sellest hoolimata õnnestus vaid Balti Mängudeks kokku pandud meeskonnal võita lätlasi ja leedukaid, kes regulaarselt koos mängivad.

Juho Looveer.

17. septembril Bankstowni spordiväljakule jõudsid eestlaskonda esindama nii uued eestlased kui siin sündinud. Eesti meeskonna viis kokku üks mees – Juho Looveer.


How did you get involved in organising the Estonian team for the Baltic Games?


Juho Looveer: I have been involved in Volleyball in Sydney for over 40 years, and am well known by Latvians and Lithuanians who play Volleyball.

In 2010, a Latvian friend told me that Baltic games were on and said that Estonians had no teams; he asked if I was interested in organising some teams. I said Yes.

I did ask Sydney Eesti Selts if there was still a Sydney Eesti Spordi Klubi (SESK) in existence – that’s where I started playing in 1968; they said no, and no-one from Selts Committee had time to organise anything for sports, so I could go ahead.


How did you manage to organise the team?


Juho Looveer: I didn’t know of many players, especially young Estonians, so I informed Meie Kodu, who published a Notice. I also informed Aino Matwisyk, who organises Sõrve, and Aivo Takis organised for a note on the website for Estonian backpackers.

People emailed me, and in 2010 we had about 9 backpackers plus an Eesti girl who was studying for her Masters in Melbourne. The same players played both volleyball and basketball.

In 2011, we tried the same ways. We had one mother (Ingrid Provan) contact me, after her parents (Heino and Viive Meipalu) read the article in Meie Kodu. Ingrid’s 18-year-old son Alex Provan currently plays basketball for Sutherland and was in NSW State Junior team this year; Ingrid’s father came to watch the games and even brought along a photo of the Sydney Eesti team that had played in 1957!

One player from last year, Martin Vadam, contacted me to ask if the games were happening again this year, and he organised several other Eesti tourists. One player, Joosep Martinson, met him at Eesti Maja on the Thursday night before we played; Joosep had only arrived in that last week, and he turned out to be a great player for us!


How long is the tradition of Baltic Games?


Juho Looveer: Previously, Baltic Games were played annually through the 1970’s, maybe longer – each country selected a team from their community across Australia, and all players travelled to Sydney or another capital city for one weekend of competition each year. These teams and events were supported by each country’s national sports societies.


Not sure when these stopped.


I think the current Baltic games were resurrected in 2006, with basketball between Latvians and Lithuanians.

There was a proposal to again commence the National Baltic games in 2011, but as Estonians we could not find any contacts in other states willing to support the concept, and we Estonians in Sydney could not fully commit to the national games either.

However, I would like to see this eventuate, if we can somehow organise for it, and find some way to support the costs for players chosen.


How did you celebrate the winning of basketball competition?


Juho Looveer: Trophies were awarded at a short ceremony at the end of the day. The Latvians and Lithuanians agreed that because of our huge effort in organising teams when we don’t have a local Eesti sports club was fantastic. They are going to organise a trophy for the men's second division, and put the Estonian team name on it for 2011.

Many of the players had to get back to town after the games finished, so this year we did not celebrate much.

After the awards, people stayed to socialise, eat some proper Baltic food (vorstid ja sauerkraut), and, of course, drink beer.


What do you think about young Estonians from Eesti?


I find it interesting that young Estonians want to come to Australia, as we are on the opposite side of the world. Talking to these young people, they find that Australia has a great climate all year round; food is much cheaper in Australia than in Europe; you can make a decent living in Australia, without having to kill yourself with work. Most of the young Estonians coming here are keen to learn and see the local culture, willing to work and assimilate, while maintaining links to their proud heritage; much the same as for us "older Estralians".

They like mixing with other Estonians (and former Estonians) - I think some of the young Esto-tourists actually play in some basketball competitions together.


Does Sydney Estonians deserve their own sport club?


Juho Looveer: It would be good to resurrect a Sydney Estonian Sports Club. But where? When do we meet? (consider travel, work hours and when people are free); gymnasia are not so easy to find, and you probably need to make a long-term booking (and pay for it); we would need to purchase some equipment (volleyballs, basketballs, etc) – who would pay for this up front? Perhaps we need a small fund to start this off, (or a donation from Eesti Selts) and gradually build on a social concept of a few hours of fun Volleyball and basketball, for a regular session, maybe followed by more social activity (Bar-B-Q, food and drinks)

Children and grand-children of former Estralians, if they are any good, already play in various teams, and it may be hard to find opportunity to include them. But we should try!!!


How about Eesti Päevad ?


Juho Looveer: I always enjoyed the Eesti Päevad when I was young, as it was a blend of the cultural and the sporting – it catered for varied interests, and brought many more people together. Volleyball and basketball were relatively serious competitions, and the day of athletics was more for participation and some fun (e.g. as we got older we started a Fat Men’s Race). Current Eesti Päevade programs hold very little of interest, I think.

But if the Esto sports clubs from Sydney, Wollongong, Thirlmere, Melbourne, Canberra and Adelaide have become dormant, maybe the Eesti Selts in each city could try to promote some sports activity, and see sports re-appear at Eesti Päevad. The Baltic games have shown that there are enough Estourists who are keen to play sports. Any children and grand-children of former Estos are also keen to maintain links with their cultural heritage.


All it takes is some motivation and some leadership!

So come on Selts – let’s get going!

Philinda 25. nov. 2011 kell 21:50
Good to see a tnaelt at work. I can't match that.
Chaas 26. nov. 2011 kell 06:53
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Ethica 26. nov. 2011 kell 10:32
I see, I supopse that would have to be the case.
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Edina 12. augustil 2013 kell 12:40
There was a sizable pescrnee of Estonians in Copenhagen conferences but it is true that the general knowledge of the issue is very low. It is a problem mostly with media which is filled with Oil-shale industry stories by a small group of people.We are working to share more information last week I was talking in Domus Dorpatensis in Tartu about the Copenhagen COP15 and what is the state of things regarding climate science and action based on that. I think after this year the situation will be quite different.
Shekar 13. augustil 2013 kell 03:30
I read that book, The Outlaw Sea, and I've never felt 100% comfoirtabel on a boat or ferry since. Extraordinarily well wwttiern, it really captures the horror of the sinking and the speed at which it sank.
Nataliya 13. augustil 2013 kell 04:58
First of all this is not what a traditional Estonian hagebrmur looks like. It is never served on bread with lettuce and condiments. The Estonian burger – kotlet – is pretty much a small round beef patty (about two or three inches round and almost as thick) which is heavy on onion content and fried and then served with heavy gravy. As to whether you serve them with potatoes, salad, or whatever is up to the individual.Second, the kotlet has been around Estonia for hundreds of years. Merchants of the German port of Hamburg, through centuries of trade with Estonians, Latvians, and Finns, had acquired the Baltic taste for scraped raw beef, but it was not until the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904 that broiled, bunned beef was introduced to the rest of the world by the Germans of South St. Louis as hagebrmur.Keep in mind Estonia’s capital Tallinn along with many other Estonian cities and other cities in the region were once members of the medieval Hanseatic League of cities which traded within a vast network of cities across northern Europe. While common knowledge dictates the origin of the hagebrmur came from Hamburg Germany, just about all the modern nations that once traded within this same area will tell you they too have a dish which resembles a beef patty. (It’s worth noting the same argument can be made for the origin of the confectionery marzipan, the tradition of decorating a fir tree around the Christmas holiday, as well as many other foods and traditions.)Third, I’ve never considered Estonia to be located between Latvia and Russia. It is the northern most of the three Baltic States. It shares a border to the east with Russia and southern border with Latvia. Its northern and western border is the sea. So the description that Estonia it is somehow wedged between Latvia and Russia was somewhat of a different way of seeing Estonia’s geography.Regarding geography, for the record, the Baltic States do share some common borders and history, but for the most part their languages, governments, customs and traditions are very different. The term “Baltic States” is rather unfortunate since it somehow alludes to some form of organized regional homogeneity; or as in the case of the “United States” some organized governed unit.
Keo 13. augustil 2013 kell 06:47
Global Warming is a fact, there are 20 who say different. Until we get to the truth about all of this, NOTHING shloud change other than we all do the best we can in our own small way to be good environmental stewards. Anyone brazen enough to think that mankind can ruin the earth in any meaningful way, thinks much too highly of mankind.
Deepika 14. augustil 2013 kell 01:51
There was a sizable pcerense of Estonians in Copenhagen conferences but it is true that the general knowledge of the issue is very low. It is a problem mostly with media which is filled with Oil-shale industry stories by a small group of people.We are working to share more information last week I was talking in Domus Dorpatensis in Tartu about the Copenhagen COP15 and what is the state of things regarding climate science and action based on that. I think after this year the situation will be quite different.
Thomas 14. augustil 2013 kell 22:54
Haha, all this ill will against Black puddnig, Pickled herring and jellied pork is really proving that you'r a true American.Pickled herring is of course great. Us Swedes have countless variations of ways to make it. Our tradition of putting sugar in everything is well manifested in that dish (greatly balancing up the tartness of the pickling vinegar). I suggest you try it before you dismiss it (In Sweden and Finland there are actually some old recipes where you mix minced meat, salt herring, onions and spices and make into small meatballs. Not a fan of it though, wouldn't make a burger out of it).Black puddnig is also great. You can't really dismiss it without trying the different varieties. The soft French black puddnig is wonderful, but the dry, smokey and spiced Portuguese variety is the very best in my book. Well made, it's. like a meal at a Michelin restaurant in a single sausage.All in all I think you captured some of the good Baltic flavours in your burger.
Marily 15. augustil 2013 kell 06:10
Thanks for your comments Eerik. I have to admit I've never even loekod into who invented the idea of the burger I kind of feel like Americans took the idea of the burger and have made it their own, but that's probably an overly American point of view. I love the history, it really helps us all understand each country a little better so thanks for filling in more of the gaps.I purposefully didn't do a traditional Estonian burger. I only found one or two references to a traditional burger and, it wasn't unusual enough to make an original recipe out of. The idea of this cookbook/blog is to create original burger recipes that are inspired by the flavors of each country. I wanted to give people a chance to taste some new flavors in a form that wouldn't be intimidating, that's really the basic idea of the blog. Hopefully I've been able to capture some classic Estonian flavors in this recipe.thanks again for your comments
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