The stamp series My Åland presents heavyweight fighter Robert Helenius in 2014. Together with his Åland partner Sandra Helsing and their three children, he now lives in Lumparland. Prior to meeting Sandra, Robert knew very little about Åland, but today he loves it and has only good things to say about his new domicile.
"People are very friendly, in fact, the islanders are perhaps more welcoming than people in Finland are in general. And nature here is so incredibly beautiful; I enjoy fishing and being out in the woods."
Sandra and Robert met at the training facility in Porvoo around the time when he won the 2006 European Amateur Championships silver medal. A few years later, he signed a professional contract with German promoter Wilfried Sauerland. In 2010, he won the vacant EU heavyweight title as well as the vacant WBO Inter-Continental title. Following several years of injuries and conflicts with his boxing stable, however, Robert has now left Berlin and now trains with Ålander Tom-Stefan Witting who works with neurotraining, a new form of training.
"Through acupressure on specific muscles the nerve path between brain and muscle is revived to start better cooperating. I've reached extremely good results in a short time," Robert smiles.
The Sauerland hatchet is buried and Robert has his goal set on yet another World Champion title.
Photographer Daniel Eriksson has shot the photos for the stamp and first day cover. Daniel met Robert both in the training facility in Berlin and together with his family in Åland to be able to illustrate both sides of the fighter; two sides that are not always so very easy to combine.
"The most difficult situation is probably when I've been away from the family for 3-4 weeks at a training camp where the idea is to bait the beast inside me. After the camp, I return home to take care of three children. It's not so easy toswitch mood, just like that. Home is where Sandra and our children are, Robert says".