First festival of the Junior Sledge Hockey League will take place at the Khokkeynyi Gorod (Ice Hockey City) of the SKA hockey club in St. Petersburg. 10 teams of children with disabilities from 9 cities around Russia will participate in the competitions: Tropik (Tula), Umka (Odintsovo), Krasnaya Molniya (Krasnoyarsk), Kryliya Sovetov (Moscow), Snegiri (Moscow), Kryliya (Saratov), Atal (Cheboksary), Sibirsky Lis (Berdsk), Avrora (St. Petersburg), and Bashkirskiye Piraty (Ufa).
Festival organizers have been preparing this important event during the last two years. Aiming to advance the skills of the young sledge hockey players, the League organized special training events for them every year, including international camps and get-togethers as well as exhibition games. The combined team of the Junior Sledge Hockey League which included 12 players from 7 teams has won the golden prize recently at the Canadian Cruisers Cup-2018. Step by step, our young sportsmen grew stronger in terms of their physical and spiritual condition, gaining more confidence in themselves. Now the teams are ready to take the ice in order to show everything that they have mastered.
The Junior Sledge Hockey League festival is not only a competition per se, but also a big family event. Children will get yet another opportunity for practicing their skills on ice and meeting their friends from other cities. Parents and other participating adults will share their best practices: it is not a secret that nurturing children with special needs takes an enormous amount of work.
“It is very important for us to help kids with health limitations to engage in their favorite sports activities. We could see that many of such children choose sledge hockey: it is confirmed by the growing number of sledge hockey teams around the country. This sport is developing because of the efforts by and support from all those who really care about it: children who have a desire to play sledge hockey, their parents who support them, volunteers as well as charitable organizations. Everyone is welcome to come and support sledge hockey players during the festival at the SKA’s Ice Hockey City. These dedicated and persevering kids really deserve it!” says Igor Baradachev, deputy general director of the Elena and Gennady Timchenko Charitable Foundation.
The grand opening ceremony of the Festival will take place on December 1st at 1 p.m. On the following day a unique children’s book will be presented to the guests and participants of the festival: a very famous person (we shall keep his name a secret until that day…) will read the book I Play Sledge Hockey by Oleg Yegorov from Siberia. During the four days of the festival its guests will enjoy its comprehensive program. Sledge hockey games which may become real battles on ice shall start at 9.30 a.m. and end in the afternoon. Festival guests will have a chance to find out more about the players in the foyer of the sports arena while meeting them in the improvised pavilions, where teams will be showing their souvenirs and telling about themselves and their cities. Colorful parade of the teams will take place during the opening ceremony, at 12.30 p.m. on December 1st.
SKA players will help all visitors learning more about ice hockey. Autograph sessions and joint special events are planned during the festival. Visitors will also have a chance to try on the role of a sledge hockey player, take a sleigh ride as well as participate in contests and win prizes established by festival organizers.
We expect all and sundry to attend our ice hockey festival! Come and bring your friends with you in order to support young sledge hockey players. It is a free event.
Partners of the First Junior Sledge Hockey League Festival:
Elena and Gennady Timchenko Charitable Foundation
Fonbet, betting company
MegaFon, mobile phone operator
Khokkeynyi Gorod (Ice Hockey Town) of the SKA hockey club
ZaryaD, ice hockey sticks manufacturing plant
78, TV channel, St. Petersburg
Games’ broadcasting organized by OOO Telecom Media
With the support of:
Russian Ice Hockey Federation
Russian Paralympic Committee
SKA Ice Hockey Club
Ot Chistogo Serdtsa [In All Sincerity], an autonomous non-commercial organization