Russian women’s hockey anniversary with application
by Martin Merk|11 OCT 2019
Group photo with legends of Russian women’s hockey during the 25-year anniversary celebration in Moscow.
photo: Viktor Berezkin / FHR
On Tuesday the Ice Hockey Federation of Russia celebrated the 25th anniversary of women’s ice hockey at the Ice Hockey Museum in Moscow.

The museum also inaugurated on that day the exhibition “Beauty on the Ice” dedicated to the development and achievements of Russian women’s hockey and Vladislav Tretiak, President of the Ice Hockey Federation of Russia and member of the IIHF Council, gave awards and extended his gratitude to the guests.

Valeri Shantsev, who founded one of the country’s leading women’s hockey clubs, SKIF Nizhni Novgorod, received the Anatoli Tarasov Medal for his work.

The award for "Loyalty to Ice Hockey" was given to the permanent SKIF president Sergei Kolotnev, long-term HC Tornado director Alexander Skalozubov and women's ice hockey legend, long-term captain of the Russian national team Zhanna Shelchkova.

Tretiak expressed his gratitude to successful athletes Maria Barykina, Irina Gashennikova, Maria Onolbayeva, Anna Shukina, Alexandra Kapustina and others, and also representatives of women’s ice hockey clubs.

During the event, the participants watched a video clip dedicated to the history of the development of women’s ice hockey in Russia.

“Women’s ice hockey has always been important for me because my mother played hockey and I remember how I tried to break her stick as a child all the time but I couldn't do it – it was made of some kind of cane. In 1994, the girls switched from bandy to ice hockey, and they soon began achieving success. Now, they are three-time bronze medalists of the Women’s World Championship, and our clubs have won the European Women’s Champions’ Cup six times,” Tretiak looks back at the past 25 years.

“I can say that girls like the sport of ice hockey, I have been to a lot of cities in the country and there are a lot of girls who want to play ice hockey. Our task is to give them that opportunity and to hire specialists and coaches. The Ice Hockey Federation of Russia is undertaking a lot of work in this field, and the girls can now feel that they are treated in a different manner. Five-six years ago women’s ice hockey was looked upon differently, but now they have a great material and technical base and results depend purely on them. We have a great team and there is a tradition that if girls want to play ice hockey, we will do everything to give them that chance.”

Russia wants to become first-time Women’s Worlds host

But the good news for Russian women’s ice hockey didn’t end with the event and plenty of conversations among the guests afterwards.

Russia is currently the highest-ranked country in women’s hockey that hasn’t hosted an IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship yet. This could change as soon as the next edition in spring in Halifax (Canada) is over as the Ice Hockey Federation of Russia intends to apply to host the 2021 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship in the city of Ufa.

The application is planned with the same arenas that successfully hosted the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship in the capital of Bashkortostan. Ufa Arena opened its gates in 2007 and can accommodate 7,950 spectators. It is home to the KHL club Salavat Yulayev Ufa.

The Sports Palace for 3,500 spectators was completely renovated prior to the 2013 World Juniors and is the home arena of Agidel Ufa, which won Russia’s Women’s Hockey League during the past two seasons.

Both arenas have two ice sheets in the building.

The host of the 2021 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship will be allocated during the 2020 IIHF Annual Congress, which will take place in Zurich, Switzerland, during the last week of the 2020 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship.
Ufa Arena hosted the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship. Will it also host the 2021 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship? We will know more in May.
photo: Steve Poirier / HHOF-IIHF Images