Saimaan Veterans’ Hockey Tournament and its potential for cross-border cooperation in sport tourism

VectorSport project delegation together with Russian and Finnish partners organized a series of business events in the framework of Saimaan veterans’ hockey tournament!

The first meeting took place at Savonlinna city hall, where the Mayor of the city arranged the warm welcome to our delegation! Second half of business program was held at the ice hall arena of Saimaan tournament that gathered together the representatives of sport and business societies from Russia and Finland! The agenda included the topics of cross-border cooperation between hockey federations of Finland and St. Petersburg, local hockey clubs and sport societies, as well as hockey business community. 

Thus, Russian delegation at this meeting was represented by Deputy Head of St. Petersburg Sport Committee, Svetlana Kuzmitckaja who is responsible for student, veteran and corporate sport in the city, as well as Mr. Roman Gosviiani, deputy director of Center for the preparation of the sport teams of St. Petersburg. In addition to that, Hockey Federation of Petersburg in a face of its head Tatyana Mengel and head of student hockey department ,Alexander Osipov, together with Andrey Gavrilenko, head of youth hockey department, joined this meeting.

Finnish delegation was formed from the organizers of Saimaan veterans’ ice-hockey tournament together with local hockey club Sappko representative, Finish Hockey Federation representative, Finnish Veteran Hockey Federation representative.

The idea of these meetings was to initiate the dialogue between hockey experts and practitioners from both countries in order to establish the sustainable connections in future that would result in a number of concrete projects.

Saimaan veterans’ ice-hockey tournament was presented as a good case of such cooperation that could be even enhanced during the course of VectorSport project. 

The Saimaan veterans ice hockey tournament had its 40th anniversary this year, thus it collected more than 70 teams from different countries.  It provided the opportunities for different age groups to meet together and challenge the skills, as well as develop long- term friendly relationships.  Besides the sport part, the tournament proposes a plenty of opportunities for cultural and recreational activities in Savonlinna hosting city. 

These business events held in the framework of Saimaan veterans’ hockey tournament provided a good platform for fruitful dialogue and further cooperation in the sphere of sport tourism between Russia and Finland! Experts from both countries emphasized the potential that hockey had for enhancing long-term and sustainable development both in sport and business.