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Annual Master Classes by Vladislav Tretiak will be held in Riga

20-Jun-2017, 14:54 / Charity & Sponsorship For ten days, from 21 June to 30 June, Riga will once again become the new mecca for young hockey players from all over Europe. For the eighth year in a row, the capital of Latvia is hosting the sports camp for children and youth. The classes of the International School of Goaltenders start in Riga under the guidance of the hockey legend Vladislav Tretiak, the activities of which have supported by Rietumu Bank since 2010.

2017’s Anniversary

You can be sure that the current, eighth season will be inscribed in the history of the Tretiak School in a special way, as 2017 is the double jubilee year.

The 25 April marked the 65th birthday of one of the greatest hockey players of the 20th century: the outstanding Soviet and Russian goalkeeper Vladislav Tretiak. Moreover, 45 years have passed since the famous Summit Series of September 1972, during the first game of which the USSR national team defeated the team of Canada 7:3, which was recognized as one of the most important sporting events of the 20th century, making this a special year. Today, for several generations, this could be a plot for making a film based on myths and legends. Meanwhile, the direct (and, perhaps, it will not be an exaggeration to say – the most important) participant of these games will arrive in Riga, and not only will he arrive, but he will also put his ice skates on, and with a hockey stick in his hands will share his experience and skills with young hockey players here.

The Riga School of Goaltenders, where the classes of the Vladislav Tretiak International School of Goaltending are held, is a completely unique place. It is the only place in the world where young hockey players can participate in the master classes of Vladislav Tretiak, as well as the famous Latvian goaltenders Sergey Naumov and Andrejs Zagars, and Vladimir Kulik the goaltender coach of the Russian national youth team. Some time ago, similar projects existed in Russia and Canada, but in recent years, Latvia has remained the only member of such a project.

“The most perfect technique and the most ideal physical training will not make you an outstanding athlete. Being an outstanding athlete also means having a tremendous strength of will,” says Andrejs Zagars. “What can be compared with the value of the experience, knowledge, and skills which young hockey players can get in our school? Perhaps this may be similar to when young “IT people” get the opportunity to communicate with Mark Zuckerberg, or budding financiers – with George Soros.”

The 49 best

There is no need to convince young sportsmen of the values and prestige of training at the Tretiak Goalie School. This year, the list of those that wanted to participate was full within a month. Nobody is afraid of four hours of training on and off the ice. 49 goalkeepers aged 7 to 20 will arrive in Riga from all over Europe – from Germany, France, Finland, Spain, Estonia, Lithuania, Russia, Belarus and Latvia. By the way, not only boys, but also several girls – women's hockey is developing and becoming more and more popular.

“There are guys who come to us from year to year, in the duration of several years,” says Sergey Naumov. “We are happy to follow their achievements. The classes of the International School of Goaltenders in Riga, under the guidance of Vladislav Tretiak, have proven to be the starting point of a successful career for many young hockey players. For example, for the second year in a row, the rising star of Russian hockey Igor Shesterkin – the goalkeeper of SKA, the club of the Continental Hockey League, and SKA-Neva, the club of the Higher Hockey League, is training with us. For seven years in a row, a goalkeeper from Spain has been coming to us for the sport camp: for the first time he arrived here as a child, now he is playing in a professional ice hockey team in Canada. But each summer he still comes to Riga.”

For the second year, one of the coaches of the classes of the International School of Goaltenders held in Riga will be Vladimir Kulik, the goaltending coach of the Russian National Youth Team, who uses these classes to select the most talented and promising sportsmen for the Russian teams.

The hard way to reach the podium

This year, the sports camp will basically take place in the Inbox ledus halle ice hall (keep this fact in mind if you want to get autographs of famous goalkeepers!). The young hockey players will spend more than 20 hours on the ice, while about 10 hours will be allocated for “dry” training and one day for “wet” training, including an obligatory trip to Jurmala. Plus theoretical studies. The schedule is dense and saturated, focused on ensuring that young athletes increase the level of technicality and effectiveness of their game during the short period of time spent in the camp.

“I love working with young, energetic, enthusiastic and talented people who would like to become cool hockey players,” says Vladislav Tretiak. “We believe that our task is to help them to achieve success. Their victories are our victories, and we rejoice with them in their achievements and successes no less than they themselves do. Any professional sport is hard work, requiring great dedication, discipline, responsibility, and concentration. But all your efforts are rewarded a hundredfold when you win, when you stand on a podium and in your honour the national anthem is played! I wish that it is here, in Riga, that each of our young sportsmen start their way to the winner’s podium.”

Eleonora Gailisha
Mass Media and Public Relations
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