The new club is called Baltiyskaya Zarya (‘Baltic Dawn’).
A new professional sports club has been established in St. Petersburg. Several years after the Kirovchanka team was closed, the city again has a female handball team called Baltiyskaya Zarya (‘Baltic Dawn’).
For athletes, it is really important. Three Olympic reserve sports schools train handball players in St. Petersburg, with several hundred athletes graduating every year. But while men have a chance to play in Universitet-Neva, women have to leave St. Petersburg if they wish to continue sport.
Yury Babenko, a renowned St. Petersburg handball trainer, has been appointed as chief trainer of the new team. There are only two players in the club at present, but it is clear that almost 100% of the team members will be from St. Petersburg.
Yury Babenko tells: ‘There are girls who would like to return. There are graduates from our schools in other cities, two in Volgograd, three in Zvenigorod, three in Stavropol. These people could help the team at this stage.’
Irina Kuderova, President of the Baltiyskaya Zarya handball club, explains the name of the team: ‘There were many variants, we almost chose Aurora but remembered about the female football team. We wanted the name to be connected with the city and the region, hence Baltic. And the Dawn, because it is something new. A new day, new emotions.’
The Handball Federation is to make a final decision in a week, but highly likely, the new club will make its debut in autumn in the top league.
Photo: St. Petersburg TV channel