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On the eve of the start of the OLIMPBET Friendship Cup, President of the Russian Handball Federation Sergey Shishkarev met with the women’s national team at the base in Novogorsk near Moscow.

Due to the tight work schedule, the head of the Russian Handball Federation was not able to see the national team in training, but, as in the case of the men’s team, he always finds time to personally communicate with players and coaches. In a frank conversation, Sergey Shishkarev spoke about how Delo Group was coping with the crisis and what the Russian Handball Federation planned to do to deal with the challenges.

“My company employs about 10 thousand people, and I care about each of them. I also care about all of you,” said Sergey Shishkarev. “People are my top priority, which is why I like to call my employees “my team”. And you are also my team, which I really value.”

The President of the Russian Handball Federation noted that giving up was not an option, and the Federation would do everything it could to make sure that the national teams were still able to compete internationally in order to maintain their skill and motivation.

“The upcoming OLIMPBET Friendship Cup is one of the interesting ideas that has already proved to be successful. We have become pioneers. One can say that this tournament is a product of a series of coincidences, but overall, it is a result of a great amount of joint efforts by the Russian Handball Federation and our colleagues from Belarus and China. There is a lot of interest in the tournament, everyone wants to see the Russian national team in action again,” Sergey Shishkarev assured.

The head of the Russian Handball Federation also shared the plans for furthering the international cooperation, for the construction of the Handball House in Moscow, for continuing communication with the European Handball Federation and the International Handball Federation, and for creating a film about the victory at Rio 2016. After that, he discussed with the players possible changes in the way the Russian Championship would be held.

“I assure you that I am not going to turn away from Russian handball, I plan to support you in every possible way. I will support our clubs, our national teams, our championship, and our international projects,” finished Sergey Shishkarev.

On behalf of the team, team captain Olga Fomina thanked Sergey Shishkarev for the frank conversation and encouraging words. She also assured that the team would take the OLIMPBET Friendship Cup matches as seriously as possible.

“We are all worried now, but seeing how you fight for us, how you find the right words to support us, we also want to show that we do not give up and are ready to play our hearts out. So, we are ready to fight to win this tournament. We want to show a good game. We miss the matches,” Fomina said. “We support you, we are with you, so everything will be fine.”

“We sincerely appreciate what you do for us. We can imagine how difficult it is,” added the head coach of the Russia national team Lyudmila Bodnieva. “I can say that the girls trained hard. Thank you for organizing the tournament. These matches are priceless for us now, as we really want to play.”

Dmitry Khristich

Source: Russian Handball Federation