The first specialized curling center was put into operation on Wednesday in St. Petersburg.
The construction took several years. Saint-Petersburg TV Channel reporter Kirill Radion checked out the new arena.
Kirill Radion reports: ‘St. Petersburg is considered Russia’s center for curling development. It is in St. Petersburg that athletes first started training in curling 30 years ago. The new curling arena is the best present for the anniversary one could dream about.’
World cups prize winners who came to the inauguration ceremony recall how they were starting.
Alina Kovalyova, Merited Master of sports of Russia, tells: ‘We trained in a hockey pitch. The ice quality was very poor. But we had to start somewhere.’
The new center is a dedicated curling facility. It has an arena with six paths and stalls accommodating 250 people, and two gyms. The center took several years and assistance from the municipal authorities to build.
Vladimir Kirillov, St. Petersburg Vice Governor, comments: ‘It is rewarding to see new sports facilities in St. Petersburg. It is great. It will help us train new champions, and not only champions, but healthy, active and fit citizens of the city and the country.’
Victoria Fyodorova, a player of the Adamant curling club, says: ‘We are all very glad to have such an ice arena. All our teams will be able to train here, it will be our common home now.’
The center also offers opportunity for people with special needs.
Mikhail Sorokin, a player of the Adamant curling club, shares: ‘I am very impressed. We have already tested it, the ice is professional. It is easy to get here, just 15 minutes.’
The new arena will allow of holding first class tournaments. Next year, St. Petersburg is entitled to host the World Curling Federation congress.
Photo and video: St. Petersburg TV channel