The Fourth Gazprom Neft Cup Ice Hockey Children’s Tournament to be Held in Omsk

The Fourth Gazprom Neft Cup Ice Hockey Tournament among children's teams will be held in Omsk from April 22 to April 25, 2010. The Tournament has the Continental Hockey League (CHL) as its general partner.

The opening ceremony for the Children's Ice Hockey Tournament will take place on April 22 in Arena Omsk Stadium; the special guests of the ceremony are JSC Chairman of Gazprom Neft Management Board Alexander Dyukov and Governor of the Omsk Region Leonid Polezhaev.

This year's tournament will host eight children's teams (with the players born in 1999-2000): Avangard (Omsk), Gazovik (Tyumen), Lokomotiv (Yaroslavl), Neftyanik-Yugra (the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Region), Serebryanye Lvy [the Silver Lions] (St. Petersburg), Sibir (Novosibirsk), CSKA (Moscow), Yamal (the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Region). All matches will be played at the Avangard Ice Hockey Center.

On April 25, Arena Omsk will house the finals along with the Tournament's closing ceremony.

Alexander Medvedev, the Continental Hockey League President, points out, "By taking part in organizing this tournament in partnership with Gazprom Neft, CHL achieves two important goals. On the one hand, the tournament helps us see how well developed ice hockey is in different regions, and, on the other hand, it makes a very efficient tool to promote ice hockey. Furthering the development of children's and juniors' ice hockey is one of our most important tasks. Availability of ice hockey schools at each of the CHL clubs in line with active promotion of the Youth Hockey League are the two components of one and the same system that ensures intergenerational continuity of this sport and results in boosting of the Russian ice hockey. Involvement of the CHL in tournaments like the Gazprom Neft Cup forms a part of this system. I believe that this tournament is not a one-off event, but a strategic partnership and hope that next year the number of the tournament participants will grow considerably by children's teams belonging, among others, to the CHL clubs."

"The future of the Russian ice hockey is built in the tournaments like this, as they are held under conditions replicating adult competitions as much as possible, and the teams are putting up a real fight to score each goal. Achieving good results is impossible without competitions and contests. Promotion of children's and juniors’ sport in fact, not in word as it often happens; not only in the large cities, but all over the country will help Russia maintain the status of a great ice hockey power. The Gazprom Neft Cup sets a good example of this very approach", says Vyacheslav Fetisov, the Chairman of CHL Board of Directors.

Reference

The Gazprom Neft Cup Children's Ice Hockey Tournament is being held since 2007. The first tournament was conducted in Omsk and followed by Khanty-Mansiysk (2008) and Salekhard (2009). During the Tournament young hockey players, apart from playing in official tournament matches, attend master classes and take part in contests for the best performance and best physical fitness; also a friendly match is played between the 'USSR Ice Hockey Legends' team and the veterans of the host club.