Roippa has been happy in Raahe for 26 years – “Everything I need can be found within two kilometres of my home”

Roy, nicknamed Roippa, who moved from Jakobstad to Raahe via Toholampi in the mid-1990s, has enjoyed living in Raahe for 26 years. Daily life in the seaside city is smooth, everything you need is within walking distance, and there are diverse recreational opportunities.

A city of just the right size. Big enough to contain all the essentials, but still small enough to retain the village-like spirit of helping others. This is what Roippa thinks of his home town of Raahe.

At some point, Roippa noticed that he was becoming an ordinary small-towner who often thought that the grass was greener on the other side of the fence, and his attention seemed to be increasingly focused on the negative.

“It’s easy to lose the sense of all the good things we really have here. I stopped to think that everything essential really is less than two kilometres from my home.”

A man sitting on a rock by the sea.
Roippa feels at home not only in a built sports environment, but also by the sea. Photo: Tarmo Somero.

Going to hobbies and services by bicycle – “There’s no need for a driving licence here”

Roippa lives with his family just outside the centre of Raahe. The distance to the city centre is about half a kilometre.

The location is ideal for a man without a driving license. Trips to shops and hobbies can be conveniently done by bicycle. The journey to work does not take too much time either because Raahe Business College, which has been Roippa’s workplace for 25 years, is just around the corner.

One could imagine that, living only a stone’s throw away from the city centre and a few hundred metres away from a moderately busy road, peace and quiet would be just a dream, but Roippa says this is not the case.

“Silence this close to everything is sometimes almost unreal. You don’t have to go into the woods to experience it.”

Services for families with children are efficient, and there are plenty of recreational opportunities 

Roippa’s family consists of seven children, five of whom were born in Raahe, so he has plenty of experience of the everyday life of a family with children in Raahe over the years.

“Day care services work very well here. There has been a good availability of places in day care, and we have always received places near our home. There has also been a high degree of flexibility in terms of day care hours.”

In addition to day-care centres, schools are also close by. According to Roippa, this is definitely one of the pull factors of the city.

Roippa, who has been involved in sports club activities for a long time, says that, for a city this size, Raahe offers a wide range of recreational opportunities. It is possible to engage in club-organised activities in many different sports, both in Finland’s most popular sports and in more specialised sports.

“Ice hockey, football, athletics, Finnish baseball, judo… There are many options, and the activities are easily accessible. In addition, hobbies are really inexpensive here, especially when compared to larger cities. Here you pay in a year what you might have to pay in a month in a larger locality.”

Roippa also reminds us that the sufficient number of residents in Raahe enables hobbies in clubs to continue for a long time. There are no problem with running out of players.

Playing beach football on beach sands.
Roippa praises Raahe’s diverse and relatively inexpensive recreational opportunities. The photo shows the Beach football tournament of 2017. Photo: Saara Böök.

Peace of mind by the sea

As a townsman who has come from elsewhere, Roippa sees no problem in joining groups in Raahe, and he has always found a response to his own openness.

“It’s about your own attitude. People are as open to you as you are willing to be to them.”

Roippa is especially happy to introduce the Pikkulahti area to visitors from elsewhere. He also likes to take them to the old town.

Although the surest place to meet Roippa is in a built sports environment, he can often be seen stopping by the seaside as well. It is easy to stop by there even during the work day.

“The sea makes me calm down, as I see a kind of natural force that people can’t control.”

Text: Tarmo Somero, 2021.