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Head of European Hockey Federation praises sport development in Belarus

Head of the European Hockey Federation appreciates the development of this sport in Belarus. Marijke Fleuren said this meeting with chairman of the Belarusian federation Valery Ivanov and Minister of Sport Alexander Shamko.

Field hockey in Belarus is a relatively young sport. But, despite this, the results on the world stage is already there. In the international rankings, Belarus is sixth. Recently, the women's team of Belarus took bronze at the European Indoor Hockey Championships.

Marijke Fleuren has served as head of the European Hockey Federation since 2011. This is her first visit to Belarus.

Marijke Fleuren, European Hockey Federation President:
My first impressions of what I saw at Minsk Arena are very strong. I see how much effort Minsk exerts to reach a new level. You are building new stadiums, the infrastructure is developing. And we have great expectations of what is happening in Belarus.

During the visit, Marijke Fleuren also held a meeting with chairman of the Belarusian Hockey Federation Valery Ivanov and Minister of Sport Alexander Shamko. Belarusians show a good result in the international arena and we have much to be proud of.  But for Olympic Games, Belarus needs more victories.

Alexander Shamko, Minister of Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Belarus:
The measure is the result. It should be noted that the material base of this sport is growing. Victories in this sport demonstrates the work carried out today by our federation and by the Ministry of Sports.

Valery Ivanov, chairman of the public association "Belarusian Federation of Hockey":
Our plans include the Olympics. There is a very high competition. This sport is quite popular in developed countries, big money is invested and we are still somehow modest against the background of the top nations. But our results are not too different from the top teams.

Today, the Federation focuses on the women's team. If Belarus' women continue to play with the same successes, a place in the elite division is guaranteed.

Head of European Hockey Federation praises sport development in Belarus