Zheleznogorsk Visited by Legendary Hockey Player Ilya Byakin

08 September 2015

On September 5, 2015 meeting took place between Ilya Byakin, the Olympic hockey champion, three-time world champion, honoured master of sports of the USSR and young athletes of Zheleznogorsk at the city’s Yubileyniy Ice Rink. It was possible with the sponsorship of the Art, Science and Sport Charity Foundation.

The purpose of the visit of this legendary hockey player was to hand over new sports uniform created with the support of the Foundation to the players of the Vikhr hockey team.

This is the second visit by Ilya Vladimirovich Byakin to Zheleznogorsk. The first time he visited the city was in January 2014 during the charity event, Russian Ice Hockey Legends for the Children of Zheleznogorsk, when he was accompanied by such famous sportsmen as Boris Mikhailov, Vyacheslav Starshinov, Alexander Pashkov, Stanislav Petukhov, Yuri Blinov, Alexander Volchkov, Alexander Martynyuk, Galina Gorokhova.

The arrival of the Olympic squad to Zheleznogorsk a year ago served as powerful impetus for the steady development of the hockey team, which was being created at the time. Taking into account the desire of the boys and Anton Fofanov, their coach, to further improve their professionalism, the Art, Science and Sport Charity Foundation decided to support the hockey team during its creation and growth: to help to buy sports uniform and to arrange participation in tournaments in other cities.

At present the team already has its name: Vikhr. It is a strong, forward-looking squad and most importantly it has gained significant victories: first place at the Interregional Ice Hockey Tournament Autumn Holidays 2014 in the Smolensk region, and at the Interregional Tournament for The Soldiers-Internationalists Prize in honour of the heroes of the Fatherland in the Kursk region, and others.

Vikhr’s coach Anton Fofanov said: „The progress is evident; not so long ago my guys couldn’t really even skate or use a hockey stick, and now they win top prizes. And the fact that the team got the first of its hockey spоrts kits from the hands of Olympic champion Ilya Byakin is a great honour for them and an unspeakable joy and well a deserved reward for their perseverance.”

The young athletes immediately put on their new sport uniform and came to the ice hockey rink. Ilya Byakin arranged a master class for them, told them interesting stories from his sporting life, gave professional advice and said parting words. The event ended with a friendly match between junior hockey teams Vikhr from Zheleznogorsk and Iceberg from Shebekino (Belgorod region).

„It is important that the Foundation supports the development of sports in the small cities of Russia,” said Ilya Byakin. „Look how happy the children are, because they have the opportunity to take part in sports. And today’s events will certainly be an incentive for children to strive for more victories. Moreover, they will always remember it. Those children, who are interested to play hockey and who want to achieve something in sports, will remember what I told them today.”


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