On 18 September there took place an official presentation of the children’s sledge hockey team in Leningrad Oblast. On the Ladoga ice arena in the village of Koltushi appeared the players of the Red Rocket children’s sledge hockey team led by their coach, Dmitry Zinovyev.
To root for the players came Vyacheslav Komarov, assistant to the Governor of Leningrad Oblast and coordinator of the Children’s Sports project, Aleksey Igonin, Leningrad Oblast MP and ex-captain of the Zenit football club, Olga Vlasova, chair of the Physical Education and Sports Committee of Leningrad Oblast, Svetlana Khotko, deputy head of the administration of Leningrad Oblast, Eduard Chirko, head of the Koltushskoye Rural Settlement municipal entity, Arina Steblina, programme manager at the Children’s Sledge Hockey League, Anton Belov, blueliner for the SKA hockey team, and Kirill Kiyayev, manager of the Larionov Grill & Bar restaurant and champion of the St Petersburg amateur Hockey League.
“We have long had a dream: to build a team in Leningrad Oblast. We learned about sledge hockey as far back as 2014 and as early as 2017 started looking around for where children could play sledge hockey in Leningrad Oblast. In April 2019 we finally succeeded in opening the Red Rocket team. The team now has 8 children, three girls and five boys. The youngest member is 3.5 years old. To be sure, we had our ups and downs, but we give it our all and keep our eyes on the prize. And our prize is the close-knit and strong sledge hockey team Red Rocket in Leningrad Oblast,” said Dmitry Zinovyev, the team’s founder and coach.
The team was built not least because of a 1 million-rouble grant from the Charitable Foundation of Elena and Gennady Timchenko. The funds were used to buy the necessary inventory: sledges, hockey sticks and uniforms.