On April 22, Continental Hockey League’s (KHL) International Children’s Hockey Tournament, Gazprom Neft Cup VI, ended in Omsk. The Kazan Ak Bars became the winners of the largest Russia’s children’s hockey competition. Athletes for Neftekhimik, a team from Nizhnekamsk, won silver, and young hockey players from the capital’s CSKA club went home with bronze medals.
The Gazprom Neft Cup is the company’s main project for promoting youth sports. Over the last six years, the international Gazprom Neft Cup has grown into one of the Russia’s most impressive youth tournaments. The competition is organized like professional international hockey tournaments for adults. More than 6,000 people attended this year’s final match. “Together with the Continental Hockey League, we are creating the best youth hockey tournament in Europe,” said Aleksandr Dyukov, chairman of Gazprom Neft’s management board.
This year 400 athletes from 16 teams competed for the Gazprom Neft Cup. Youth teams from Sweden and Finland are expected to be invited to participate in the next tournament, with the assistance of the KHL.
“From its inception, the tournament has come a long way. Every year shows a growing scale of the event and level of game demonstrated by the players. The Gazprom Neft Cup brings together the best hockey players from different regions of our country and from abroad. And all the players are winners, because the experience gained and the ability to work in a team is priceless,” emphasized KHL president Aleksandr Medvedev.
Development of the sports, including youth sports, is a strategic priority in Gazprom Neft’s social policy. Supporting the desire of children and youth to play the sport, the company is realizing its program to promote outdoor hockey. Gazprom Neft considers athletic and charitable projects as an integral part of its activities, designed to improve the social environment wherever it has a presence.
Matches for the first Gazprom Neft Cup were held in 2007. Thanks to a strategic partnership between Gazprom Neft and the Continental Hockey League, the Gazprom Neft Cup is the largest international youth hockey competition in Russia today.