Hockey Family Camp, the third international inclusive children’s camp opened in Yaroslavl. For the first time, the Children’s Sledge Hockey League has brought together hockey players under the umbrella of the Good Ice programme of the Charitable Foundation of Elena and Gennady Timchenko for the promotion of children’s amateur hockey, the members of the teams of the Children’s Sledge Hockey League and sledge hockey players from the USA, Japan, Slovakia and Finland.
“We have been waiting with impatience and eager anticipation for a meeting with all camp participants. This is now the third Hockey Family Camp international summer camp, but this year it has a novel format. In the third year of the international camp, we dared a bold experiment. Accommodation, training and creative activities will be shared by the hockey players under the Good Ice programme, young sledge hockey players from the teams of the Children’s Sledge Hockey League, as well as the USA, Slovakia, Finland and Japan. I am confident that our unique experiment will set a successful example for many people and the inclusive international camp will become a tradition for both the Children’s Sledge Hockey League and other children’s organizations,” said Anastasia Baradachova, president of the Children’s Sledge Hockey League.
On the first training day, the camp had a guest: world champion Artem Anisimov, currently playing centre for Ottawa Senators.
“Hockey is hockey is hockey, whether you’re an ice hockey or sledge hockey player. It is very important for hockey players to train together with sledge hockey players. They are all one happy hockey family! I have very good impressions of the meeting with the kids: it is great that they play ice hockey; I am happy for them. We had a great time together. They can teach all of us a lot, and first of all, never say die!” said Artem Anisimov.
The player joined them on the ice, talked to them, answered numerous questions and wished them luck. And after the training, each trainee received an autograph from his role model and took a souvenir selfie.
The Hockey Family Camp international inclusive hockey camp is hosted by the Olympic Hockey Reserve National School in Yaroslavl between 18 and 27 August. The summer camp charity period brings together hockey-playing children — ones with and without disabilities. This is the world’s first hockey camp in such a format; the Children’s Sledge Hockey League plans to continue growing it.
The coaching staff is headed by Vladimir Yurzinov, Meritorious Master of Sports of the USSR and Meritorious Coach of the USSR and Russia. The children are coached by Derek Whitson, assistant to the head coach of the Canada national women’s ice sledge hockey team and bronze medallist at the 2014 Winter Paralympics, Teemu Kurki, head coach of Finland’s children’s sledge hockey team, and Andrey Ivanov, coach of the Aurora children’s sledge hockey team and silver medallist at the 2014 Winter Paralympics in Sochi.
The camp is attended by players of children’s sledge hockey teams from Russia, the USA, Slovakia, Japan and Finland, as well as players of children’s amateur hockey teams from all over Russia. The project is being implemented jointly with the Charitable Foundation of Elena and Gennady Timchenko.