Session to discuss development of ice hockey in Belarus

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Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko urged to create an efficient system of training of the reserve of the national ice hockey team at the session held on 24 November to discuss the development of ice hockey in Belarus.

Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that the issues related to ice hockey development had been discussed before. “Great attention is attached to this sport in our country. Ice hockey in Belarus has many fans,” he noted.

At the same timeб the President expressed concerns regarding the current situation in the sport. “The situation in this sport raises some concerns and it is high time we dealt with every aspect of the matter. The President reiterated: “I am more than concerned with the state of affairs in ice hockey. It cannot be this way. If this trend continues, the most radical measures will be taken in the shortest possible time.”

Some of those who are present here today have asked me to hold this meeting. It was your request and, I will repeat it, this request was a timely one. I do not think we should consider some fundamental issues today. I believe they have been addressed at my level and at the level of the government long time ago. If there are any minor issues, I am ready to discuss them,” said the head of state.

“As for HC Dinamo Minsk, here we are going from best to worst. Today we can win with a five-goal advantage and lose with the same goal difference tomorrow. This is not the game we should have. We need some stability here,” the head of state said.

At the same time, he recalled: considerable money has been invested in ice hockey. "The state does not have extra money to spare. It is time to become self-sufficient. Clubs should earn money and spend it according to the country’s laws. The support from the state will be reducing,” Aleksandr Lukashenko noted.

Chairman of the Ice Hockey Federation Igor Rachkovsky reported on the situation in the sport, including the preparations for the IIHF World Championship 2016, and the state of affairs in the national hockey team. "Today there are no pressing issues. The only unpleasant situation we have encountered was in the KHL when our Russian colleagues changed the rules of competition in part of the legionary status of Belarusians in the league. This happened despite firm assurances from the Russian Sport Minister and the head of the Russian Ice Hockey Federation. To address this problem, we even involved President of the International Ice Hockey Federation Rene Fasel and State Secretary of the Union State Grigory Rapotu who wrote a letter to the Russian Sport Ministry on the inadmissibility of such actions,” said Igor Rachkovsky.

The participants of the session also discussed the proposal of the Ice hockey Federation to hold the 2022 IIHF World Championship in Minsk.

At the session the President drew special attention to the training of the reserve for the national ice hockey team which the construction of additional infrastructure. This system should not be brand-new, it I only to optimize work. The best foreign practices, for example, of Canadian socialists, will be used as a model.

The session focused on other issues which have to be resolved to raise the quality of training of future ice hockey stars. For example, one of the decisions made at the level of the President envisaged the construction of rented housing for young coaches of talented athletes. A key instruction of the head of state is to support talented athletes in Belarus. It is needed to unveil them and to provide high-quality training.

The session also gave a comprehensive look on the development of ice hockey. For example, a decision was made that starting from this or the next quarter the most important functionaries in ice hockey will be appointed only upon the agreement with the Ice Hockey Federation.

Aleksandr Lukashenko drew special attention to the capacity of sports facilities and the development of mass sport. Since good conditions for physical education and sport have been created almost everywhere, it is essential to focus on the promotion of mass sport because it is the pillar of the health of the nation.

Although the development of ice hockey was the main topic on the agenda of the session, the participants of the event discussed various urgent issues in all sports.

The President urged to work out efficient approaches and solutions which will help lift ice hockey to a higher level in Belarus.