“Potash Basket” Basketball Club Summs Up 2014 Results

30.01.2015
“Potash Basket” Basketball Club Summs Up 2014 Results

2014 ended with a New Year’s Mayhem event for the participants of Uralkali’s “Development of basketball as a mass sport for children and teenagers in Berezniki and Solikamsk” project. The Company regularly organises this event for first and second-grade students who have recently started playing basketball.

In September, there was a new intake of first-grade students at the project’s basketball centres. Almost 180 children in Berezniki and 80 children in Solikamsk signed up to play basketball. In December Uralkali organised a festival for the project participants: the children took part in a race with elements of basketball, and demonstrated to their parents and grandparents what they had learned in the three months of training. Santa Claus (Ded Moroz) and the Snow Maiden (Snegurochka) made a traditional address to the young athletes and each participant received a box with sweets and wishes for further sporting success.

The organisers decided not to choose winners from the race. The main thing was for the children to experience teamwork and team spirit, and learn how to interact with their team mates. There will be competitions and victories in the future, as Uralkali’s basketball project includes a number of events and financially supports participation in competitions and training camps.

As part of the project, in 2014, Uralkali set up the “POTASH BASKET Junior” basketball league for students in the second, third and fourth grades and 168 children trained and enjoyed recreational activities at the “Skazka” camp. Older project participants took part in the Christmas Tornado Cup in Kaunas, Lithuania, and participated in Russian national tournaments in Moscow and Yekaterinburg. Early in the summer, 120 boys from Berezniki and Solikamsk took part in the Russian Mini-basketball Festival in Anapa. Grigory Tunev came third in the captain’s competition. In addition, over 90 juniors from Berezniki and Solikamsk attended sports camps in Serbia and Bulgaria.

In September, Uralkali’s basketball project supported games held by VITA, a basketball league in the Urals and Siberia for teenagers born in 2000 and 2001. In autumn, the “Potash Basket — 1” team took first place in the championship of the Perm region among teenagers born in 2001. Based on the results of the tournament, Nikita Sosunov was awarded the title of best defender in the Perm region, and Savely Nedybalyuk was named the best attacker. After good results at the regional championships in Yekaterinburg, the basketball project team reached the semi-finals of the Russian Championships, which will be held in February 2015.

Mikhail Presnyakov, Manager of Uralkali’s basketball project commented:

Thanks to funding from Uralkali, almost 1,400 children from Berezniki and Solikamsk have the opportunity to train free-of-charge, and they are trained by qualified coaches, including experts from Serbia. As part of the project, we have founded 8 basketball centres in Solikamsk schools, 14 in Berezniki schools and 3 in kindergartens. Children are provided with sports kit. Specially-formed teams go to competitions in other towns and play for Berezniki and Solikamsk. In late 2014, we officially registered the ‘Potash Basket’ basketball club. Now our teams can play under the club’s name, and the audiences will recognise and remember our players. This is good motivation for the coaches and children to make further progress. At the ‘Golden Ball’ ceremony in January 2015 we will give awards to the athletes and coaches who have achieved excellent results.

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