Every member of the local hockey team Peli-Karhut has a big bear's heart, no matter what the size of the players.

All of those hearts beat for hockey, raising the roof in the local stadium when Peli-Karhut pull on their jerseys and go out on the ice.

But what happens when the matches end and the ice melts?

“It started at the end of March 2020 when covid-19 stopped the entire society in its tracks and our activities with it,” says Mika Hyvärinen from the local sports club IPK.

Young and fit Peli-Karhut players found themselves to be the lucky ones in society. They were used to teamwork on the ice and were respected by their fellow players.

So when the covid-19 crisis happened, the big hearts felt it keenly. In their bear cave, the players thought about ways to help those who were not as fortunate as themselves.

They discovered new ways of working together and a new rule book to play from. “Together with Olvi Foundation and our many sponsors, we have been able to give help and run food deliveries around Iisalmi,” says Hyvärinen.

“Together with Olvi Foundation and our many sponsors we have been able to give help and run food deliveries around Iisalmi.”

Since spring 2020, an entire rink full of Peli-Karhu players have delivered food, organised activities for older people to keep up their spirits, and done shopping and picked up medication for people in risk groups.

Players, head coaches and top management have all pitched in. Because they all share in the big bear's heart.

“As the local sports club, we take responsibility for the region’s wellbeing. Olvi Foundation’s support has been incredibly valuable to us in this difficult situation. I feel that it is an acknowledgement of our long-term approach to social responsibility,” says IPK’s president Jarmo Ylisipola.

They have stuck together and cared for others, showing that Peli-Karhut is one big bear family.