President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Friends,
The final stage of the 10th Night Hockey League National Amateur Teams Hockey Festival opens in Sochi today. I congratulate you and all ice hockey fans on this event.
Russia is rightfully one of the leading ice hockey powers. We have given the world a stellar team of legendary players and coaches. Their unforgettable victories at the Olympic Games, world championships and the world’s biggest tournaments have become an integral part of Russia’s sports glory. I can say without exaggeration that the entire nation takes pride in these outstanding achievements.
Ten years ago, many outstanding ice hockey players stood at the origins of the Night Hockey League. Thanks to their enthusiasm and sincere love of hockey Russia once again became a trend-setter in this spectacular and exciting sport.
It is in our country that a project materialised of a strong public organisation that managed to unite hockey fans and veterans from Kaliningrad to Kamchatka and to ensure successful development of amateur ice hockey and its promotion.
It is vital that the Night League has been expanding and growing stronger with each new year and engages ice hockey enthusiasts and fans in its orbit. It has transformed into a real team of like-minded people who are dedicated, creative and strong-willed, always open to new ideas and ambitious initiatives, and ready for big sports challenges.
The Night Hockey League is certainly one of the most striking brands of today’s Russia, popular and in great demand, and an important component of the mass sports movement, which is on the rise today and has united millions of people across the country.
I believe that the current anniversary of the League will inspire its organisers to new brilliant achievements.
I wish you thrilling matches, fair competition and the most unforgettable impressions, and for the Night Hockey League to move only forward.