President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Friends,
I congratulate everyone gathered at Mytishchi Stadium today, the sportspeople, the players, their fans, and all hockey lovers in our country on this big celebration that is the start of the amateur hockey league’s – or, as some call it, the night hockey league’s – new season.
I know the teams have many tense and tough matches ahead, for which they are training hard. I sincerely wish you good luck and hope that your teams will always put on a memorable performance and pursue victory with determination.
The Amateur Hockey League will celebrate its first anniversary this December. A year is not much, but over this time you have achieved a great deal: you united a huge army of like-minded people from all around the country and held Russia’s first national festival of amateur teams.
What is very important is that the league’s creation aimed not just to support the veteran sports movement, but also to develop children’s and youth sport and promote a healthy lifestyle. In doing this you have not only made a big contribution to popularising hockey around the country, but are helping to resolve one of Russia’s priority national tasks.
We all want our young people to grow up healthy, brave, and filled with a sense of purpose. We all want to see more and more people take up sports, and we all want Russia to be deservedly proud of its outstanding athletes and its traditions of genuinely mass sport and physical culture. Together we will achieve these goals.
Once more, I congratulate you on the new season’s start and wish you success and memorable matches. I wish you good health and good luck!