An agreement for cooperation in the sphere of socially significant programs, promotion of children's ice hockey and preparation of the sports reserve of the Russian Federation was signed between Gazprom Neft and the Continental Hockey League (CHL), Gazprom Neft reports.
Further to the signed document, the annual Gazprom Neft Cup Children's Ice Hockey Tournament is awarded a status of the official CHL tournament and will change its name to "The Gazprom Neft Cup CHL Children's Ice Hockey Teams Tournament". The competitions will be held from March 1 till May 1 at the sites of two sports grounds in Omsk – the ice rink of The Avangard Hockey Centre and The Arena Omsk. The major Russian sports periodical Sport-Express acts as the general information partner of the Tournament.
Gazprom Neft will keep on financing the tournament, while CHL will render organizational and methodical support to back up the preparation and staging of The Gazprom Neft Cup CHL Children's Ice Hockey Teams Tournament. The partnership between the Company and the League will allow turning the tournament into a more grassroots and representative event due to the participation of the CHL clubs' children's hockey teams.
"Development of children's ice hockey is a paramount task, and the future of hockey in this country depends directly on the efficiency of its solution, - the Continental Hockey League President Alexander Medvedev pointed out. – Communications between ten-year-old kids and the CHL stars Jaromir Jagr and Alexey Yashin at the Fourth Gazprom Neft Cup in April this year is the best illustration of the intergenerational continuity in the Russian ice hockey. I am positive that the strategic partnership between Gazprom Neft and the Continental Hockey League in the preparation and staging of the Tournament that has already become a tradition will enable turning the latter into one of the brightest events in the children's hockey season calendar".
"The agreement signed between Gazprom Neft and the Continental Hockey League has become a logical step in strengthening our relationship. We could observe it as far back as last year, when our partnership provided the highest level of The Gazprom Neft Cup organization illustrative of any competitions under the aegis of CHL, - Chairman of Gazprom Neft Executive Board Alexander Dyukov stated. – But the most important thing is that it is a great stride in the development of children's sports, as well as a unique chance for the young hockey players to give themselves a try and show their worth in the games against the teams representing the best CHL clubs. In my turn, I believe that taking part in a tournament like this is a significant support for the CHL specialists in building the Russian ice hockey reserve preparation system and promotion of the ice hockey".
The Gazprom Neft Cup Children's Ice Hockey Teams Tournament is being held since 2007. The first Tournament was conducted in Omsk and followed by Khanty-Mansiysk (2008), Salekhard (2009), and Omsk (2010) again, the latter held under the aegis of KHL. Teams from St. Petersburg, the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Region, the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Region, the Tyumen, Omsk and Tomsk Regions took part in the Tournaments. During the Tournament, young hockey players apart from playing in official tournament matches attend master classes, meet with the stars of professional clubs, take part in contests for the best performance and best physical fitness. Also, friendly matches are played with the participation of the 'USSR Ice Hockey Legends' team.