This weekend, 7 and 8 September, the Strelna Ice Arena in St Petersburg hosted a children’s interstate sledge hockey tournament, Neva Friendship Bridge. This is now a second provincial tournament under the Hockey for All programme to be sponsored by the Charitable Foundation of Elena and Gennady Timchenko.
The inauguration ceremony was attended by Denis Yezhov, director of the hockey school of SKA Strelna, and Anastasia Baradachova, president of the Children’s Sledge Hockey League. The tournament was entered by 33 players from the following teams: Aurora, St Petersburg, Umka, Odintsovo, and Krylya Sovetov, Moscow. The tournament’s organizer, Andrey Vasilyevich Ivanov, who coaches the Aurora team, discussed the tournament outcome, his first experiences as an organizer and the importance of such tournaments.
“For us, it was our first attempt at organizing and holding such a tournament. For the first time in the history of St Petersburg children’s sledge hockey, we have held competitions featuring out-of-town teams. It was not all plain sailing, but I believe that we did a good job, all things considered. The important thing is that it was very much appreciated by all participants, judging by the numerous testimonials. The more such tournaments we hold, the better, because all training and no play makes Jack a dull boy. The kids want to play, meet with other teams, hang out and compare notes. Yesterday, for example, we had a great time together in Peterhof,” said Andrey Vasilyevich.
Tournament match outcomes:
Aurora — Umka 5:4 (by penalty shootouts)
Krylya Sovetov — Umka 2:3
Aurora — Krylya Sovetov 2:4