News

Young hockey players win bronze in Russia

At the end of August, the traditional ice hockey “Ice Arena Cup” tournament was held in Vologda, Russia, capital of our partner region. Six teams competed in the tournament—four from Russia, one from Belarus and a team representing our region, juniors from the HC Vítkovice Ridera club. They successfully faced the competition with players older by one year and returned from Russia to Vítkovice with medals, just as last year.

The eighth graders from Vítkovice took part in the Ice Arena Cup tournament, which was held from the 23rd to 25th of August under the long-term cooperation between the Moravian-Silesian Region and Vologda Oblast. The team aimed to continue the successful run after the silver medal won last year by players born in 2005, although this time players were younger by one year and set to play mainly against older teams.

Over the first two days, the team from Vítkovice competed in turn against HC Vologda U14 (1:4), Rubín Tumeň U13 (8:1), Metallurg Žlobin U14 (2:6) and HC Olymp U14 (3:2sn). They started the last day knowing that only victory in their final match against Severstal Čerepovec (U13) could guarantee a medal, and they defeated the other team only after a penalty shootout. Our team snatched third place. Team captain Vojtěch Matějka was selected best forward of the tournament and goalkeeper Štěpán Vávra was awarded most useful team member.

“The tournament satisfied our expectations and was a great benefit to everyone. We were able to compare our playing style to the Russian hockey school’s style and could observe some of the teams in training. We now have a very good idea of how our boys confront and cope with older players and I’m very pleased they managed the entire tournament so well. Their thirst to win was obvious every moment on the ice, even in the matches we lost. The boys delivered their best possible performance,” said eighth grade trainer Martin Tomášek while assessing gains from the Vologda mission. Tomášek is a former Vítkovice player himself and experienced in Russian contracts from his career in active hockey playing.

Several negotiations promising continued and successful cooperation in commerce, culture and sports were also held during the visit to Vologda. The official delegation from the Moravian-Silesian Region lead by Head of the Department of Education, Youth and Sport Libor Lenčo not only attended individual matches but also negotiated with officials from Vologda Oblast, striking further agreements for student exchanges, sport and culture. Officials also discussed the continuation of existing projects, such as the optimistically received intensive course for secondary school teachers, which will run again next year. Sports exchange programmes for students are also under consideration. According to HC Vítkovice Ridera president Pet Handl, teams from Vologda, Čerepovec and Tumeň have already expressed interest in visiting Ostrava and participating in some of our tournaments. Involvement of talented artists in our music contests and presentations at culture and theatre festivals were also interesting ideas suggested for cooperation.

A business mission is heading to Vologda and St. Petersburg in December this year to further expand the portfolio of our cooperation. Vologda’s representatives promised their support for the planned business mission during negotiations in St. Petersburg, offering the region to make use of facilities while pursuing our projects in the city.

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