Saint Petersburg host first official Snow Volleyball tournament on Russian soil
News from the National Federations
Saint Petersburg, Russia, January 10, 2017. At the end of 2016 Snow Volleyball was officially recognised by Russia’s Ministry of Sport and less than a month later a first official Snow Volleyball competition was organised in Saint Petersburg in conjunction with the celebrations for the Orthodox Christmas.
Though this was the 12th edition of the event, it nevertheless marked the first time a Snow Volleyball tournament has taken place in Russia under the new status of ‘official sport’. The event was supported by the Russian Volleyball Federation, the North-West Russian Volleyball Association and the local Sports Committee.
48 teams from Saint Petersburg as well as from the regions of Moscow and Leningrad performed across the six courts set up at Sestroretsk beach, a venue which previously hosted a number of Beach Volleyball tournaments as well, including a stop of the annual EEVZA Beach Volleyball Tour.
Though the weather conditions were quite challenging – with temperatures dropping to below -25°C – the matches were quite spectacular and exciting. More than 150 players of all ages and the fans in attendance enjoyed their time despite such cold weather.
The eventual winners of the men’s tournament were Pavel Rakusov/Sergey Nolandt (Moscow Region), with Artem Maltsev/Dmitry Sazonov (St. Petersburg) and Sergey Savekin/Denis Ivanov (Leningrad Region) settling for second and third place, respectively. Players from Saint Petersburg completed a clean sweep of the podium in the women’s competition – with Marina Postolakiy/Ekaterina Lomako taking gold, Lidia Moroz/Anna Krylova finishing second and the bronze medals going to Nadezhda Ulyanova/Anastasia Mikhaylova.
All participants and guests could enjoy some traditional Russian food – buckwheat porridge with stewed meat and hot tea – prepared on site.
Snow Volleyball is rapidly growing with the second edition of a European Tour taking place in 2017 with as many as six stops in Czech Republic, Switzerland, Slovenia, Austria, Liechtenstein and Italy.