Who are you, where do you come from and what do you do?
I’m Stefano Raus (Stefu for finnish friends) and I’m from Trento, in Trentino (north of Italy). I’m currently studying Sports Coaching and Management at Haaga-Helia UAS in Vierumäki Campus and enjoying Finland.
Who belongs to your family?
Apart from my parents I have two younger sisters, Sabrina and Serena. We also have a cat called Oliver. We all are active orienteers (but not the cat).
When have you began orienteering?
I had my first orienteering experience when I was in 3rd year if Primary school, during a spring trip in the mountains with my class.
How did you get to know LS-37?
The club is big so I’ve seen the jersey many times in the forest during international competitions so, as soon as I got the place in Vierumäki, I started surfing the net and I found the club’s website. Also, while I was working for my club to create Live GPS page on our website, I found out Yokuppi page and I followed some races; now it’s great to run Yokuppi in real life.
What’s the best thing in orienteering?
A part that is exciting and challenging to run with a map finding my own way in a new area, I personally love the fact the we can visit and travel in many beautiful places all around the world. In addition, orienteers are special people so I like to have a lot of orienteering friends.
What was your first terrain?
I run my first orienteering in Candriai (Monte Bondone) a turistic location on a mountain above Trento. It was in 2004 and on the 10th anniversary I went to run it again beating my time by 10 minutes wow (here is course on an updated map)
From the terrains you’ve visited, any particular one that stands out?
In Italy, apart from alpine forest terrain, I love the small town centres and Venice. About Finland, one of my favourite is Jämi but Solvalla (Espoo) is also really cool. Then special terrains where I had orienteering were in Selge with many rocks (Turkey), Osgiliath pine forest (New Zealand), The Cascades granite bare rocks (Australia), and other like Portugal coast and Scotland near Lockness.
What are your goals for the coming season?
From an athletic point of view I want to run 10Mila and be in some sort of shape for that; as touristic point of view I want to be present during EOC, EYOC, JWOC, WUOC and WOC and run in those terrains or volunteer.
What other sports have you done or do?
My first sports were karate and basketball, then I did ice-speed skating for 8 years during primary and middle school, before moving completely to O. Now in Vierumäki I have the opportunity all kind of sports and I’m really happy about that; before coming to Finland I played floorball only few times during PE lessons in high schools, now I love it.
What clubs have you represented?
In Italy I’ve been for 12 years with Trento Orienteering but from this year I have changed and I will run with Orienteering Pergine (not far from Trento as well). While I was in Australia I run with Onkaparinga Hills Orienteering Club from Adelaide and Southern Arrows (Elite state team of South Australia). I’ve also run a period with Tampereen Pyrintö (FIN) and South Yorkshire Orienteering Club (UK).
Have you had any coaches?
Yes, before orienteering I’ve been teaching ice-speed skating to kids for 4 years. Then I coached for my Trento club and Australian club + Elite State team. Now I’m coaching my Trentino regional orienteering team and the Italian Youth National Team.
Your most fun sports memory?
I have many fun memories from training camps and international competitions/trips. Maybe the most remarkable are entering during the night in a Fun Park in Denmark and turning some rides on and riding on them (then we got caught and our coach kicked our asses) and inundating a room in Norway after Night Hawk. I can tell you other fun sport memories in sauna with a beer.
I like fast intervals with sprint course on map and long runs in the mountains or ocean coast.
Your best achievements through the years?
I took part to EYOC only once and had some sort of achievement in ETOC some years ago. I remember when still juniors in a National competition I’ve beaten Ricky Scalet (now world Top orienteer) and podium on Italian Long and Relay Champs again in junior class. Then one of my life desires was to live in Finland, study at Uni something about sport, run and being active in a finnish club: I’m actually leaving my dream right now 🙂
Have you been injured at some point?
Yes in 2013 in a training close to important selection races I broke my left ankle and after a month I twisted it again. Then I went to Croatia for a 5 days and on the last day I twisted my right ankle as well…
Have you had a break in orienteering? If so, why?
Nope, I never stopped practicing and thinking about orienteering since when I got in touch with it. A big percentage of my existence is bounded to orienteering so I think I will never take any break – sorri not possible.
Thumb or plate compass?
Thumb compass, but I don’t use it (never in sprint-o and in forest only if terrain is completely flat).
Middle or long distance?
Middle distance, if the course setter did a good job.
How do you spend your free time?
I like to have fun with my friends, watch good movies and xc-skiing. Then if I have some more free time I find some place to map, like I did in Möysä in Lahti.
Have you had any part in any association?
In my club I’ve been Council member in charge of mapping, school instructor, coach, team manager, organizer, controller, mapper and course setter. For Italian National Orienteering Federation I am head of Mapping of Trentino Region and Youth Team coach. I just became IOF FootO Event Adviser. I am Sales Manager for Oland, an orienteering, running and cycling sportswear company based in Bulgaria. I am cooperating with SCULT, the international sport volunteering movement and years ago I was involved in some WWF projects.
Describe yourself in three words:
Happy – available – organized (a negative one is that sometimes I stress too much on easy things/assignments)
If you were an animal, what animal would you be?
I would definitely be a bat: I like the night, I would fly and move quickly and I would have sonar echolocation system 😉
Best subjects in school?
History, I liked to read interesting facts on text books and learn from them. I also liked maths, physics and geography.
What new skill(s) would you like to learn?
I would really like to learn to speak finnish!
Where do you get inspiration?
I get it in particular from my friends or other athletes/coaches. Vieru environment is also helping.
What would your own TV channel broadcast?
All kind of sport events (with focus on orienteering and biathlon, but no soccer) switching sometimes with Game of Thrones episodes and good movies.
What is the trait you are not particularly proud of?
I want to be perfect, and that makes me work a lot and maybe waste a lot of time.
In my opinion (continue) …
… life is a one time offer, use it well and smile.
You did not know this about me yet:
I hate coffee and black chocolate. I’ve actually never eaten Nutella. I have a blog.
What has been the highlight of this week?
I met new friendly Erasmus students that will stay in Vieru for this semester and I went to Italy for 3 days.
Have you ever been in detention (and why)?
Not yet and I’m not looking forward to it. Staring at Cat T. being taken into custody by police in Inverness it’s been enough.
What has been your most recent cultural experience/activity?
We started Korttelikiekko practices: it was the first time for me teaching finnish kids how to ice hockey on outside ice, at freezing temperatures.
What kind of man do you try to be?
I try to act the same way with everybody and I always try to be kind. I want to be professional in what I’m doing and clear.
What is your most unhealthy enjoyment?
I like to eat Citymarket Sitruunakakku and I eat way too many of them. I eat also a lot of pizza and pasta normally.
Have you sung the karaoke (and which song)?
Yes time ago some old boring italian songs and here in Wintti I sung Tarkenee from JVG (I like finnish pop but my friends have to tell me what the songs are actually about, cause the words are not always nice).
For what reason did you get praised for the last time?
I filmed a Hockey Camp in Vierumäki and prepared an apparently really nice YouTube video.
For what reason did you lose your temper the last time?
I had a parcel coming from Bulgaria with sport clothes for Korttelikiekko and the company forgot to send all the socks I’ve ordered……….
The dream you are planning to execute?
If I have to think in long term I’d like to buy a nice house in Finland, for vacation or for living, find my love and have an orienteering family.
Complete the sentence: Eventhough I’ve always wanted to, I have never …
… been in Lapland.
What is the best way to spend summer day in Vierumäki or Lahti?
Wake up not too early, morning jog/run near the lakes, long shower, ice skating with friends, cheap lunch in Kaskela, short nap, plan some trip around the world, afternoon orienteering training with LS37, swimming pool and sauna, dinner while watching a good movie with friends, beer and some card game and then party in Teatro.
What do you not like about living in Vierumäki/Lahti?
There are no mountains. Aurinko is not working at the moment.
What’s the word comes into mind from these words:
Cold – Finland
Silence – night
Spring – nature
Storm – sadness
Snow – skiing
Love – family
Hot – Australia
Time – infinite
Bear – karhu (clothing brand or beer)
Equality – happiness
Football – money
Poem – old