Address: Prospekt Kosmonavtov, 100, Grodno 230013, Belarus.
Phone/fax: (8-0152) 74-60-79
HISTORY OF FIELD HOCKEY IN GRODNO REGION
In Grodno "grassy" hockey started its development in January 1978, in a team of Grodno College of Physical Culture. The first field hockey section opened there. The first coach was the Head of Sport Games Department of the College - Nikolai I. Ozhogin. There were plenty of difficulties. As this kind of sport had never been practiced in the Belorussian Soviet Socialist Republic (BSSR) before there were no equipment, no hockey sticks, no goalkeeper protection and no teaching editions.
Administration of the College (Headmaster - V.V.Starovoit) did everything possible so that this interesting game received recognition and development. Arena, stadium, playground, sticks for Russian hockey (bandy) that were found in the attic of a warehouse and perfectly useful in the training process were provided for the development of this sport.
There were a lot of enthusiasts among students. A selection was made, as everybody knew that National Team was going to participate in the Sports Festival of the BSSR. Main Board of "Spartak" provided an opportunity for the Head Coach to participate in All-Union Seminar in Moscow, which took place during the Premier League Tournament of men's teams of the country. This provided an opportunity to study the techniques, tactics and rules of the game more fully. Two sets of goalkeeper protection and two sticks were purchased at "Spartak".
Training began where the main goal was drilling and improving the stick handling technique, passes, footwork, techniques for penalty corner performance and a hit to the gate from the circle, as well as learning the rules. Trainings were held in the field-and-track arena on the rubber covering.
At the end of May 1978 in the city of Gomel at "Lokomotiv" Stadium the first Championship of the BSSR in field hockey among Regions and Minsk was held. Grodno Region team took the third place and became bronze medalist.
Since 1979 women's field hockey began to develop. Two leading Voluntary Sports Societies (VSS) of trade unions were engaged in this development: Regional Council of VSS "Krasnoe Znamia" (Chairman - N.A. Shuleiko) and Regional Council of VSS "Spartak" (Chairman - N.I.Ozhogin).
VSS team "Spartak" was headed by Y.V. Yanchenko, the best teacher of sport games of the College. VSS "Krasnoe Znamia" (teams were called "Gorodnichanka", "Trudovye Reservy", and then "Khimik") was headed by the famous enthusiast, coach and organizer R.A. Nikolaev. At that time coaches (Y.V. Yanchenko, R.A. Nikolaev) create young perspective teams, participate in tournaments in the cities of Siauliai, Vilnius.
In the years 1980 -1982 "Spartak" (coach Y.V. Yanchenko) took the first place in the Championship of the BSSR, "Khimik" (coach R.A. Nikolaev) - the third. At that time teams were shaping up for the USSR Youth Games.
At the USSR Youth Championship in 1982 the BSSR team, mostly consisting of students from College of Physical Culture, took the fourth place (coach Y.V.Yanchenko). In the struggle for the third place between Moscow and the National Team of the BSSR the Muscovites won with 1: 0 score.
In 1983 the National Team of the BSSR ranked the 8th among 15 teams at the Sports Festival of the USSR Peoples, and at the Sports Festival of the BSSR Grodno hockey players won the first place. And finally "Khimik" (coach R.A. Nikolaev) became the champion of the BSSR.
In 1983, both teams, "Spartak" and "Khimik", entered the first league. In these years, Grodno teams made an attempt to break through to the Premier League of the champions of the country taking part in the transition tournaments in Sumy, Anapa, Grodno. However, disunity of the teams, fighting for leadership, obstinacy, hostility and intrigues do not bring any positive result to the teams.
In 1983 Alla Gres was invited as the playing coach from the Ukraine. Work on joining the teams began. In 1985 Sport School for Children and Youth in field hockey was opened. In the same year "Khimik" under the guidance of new coach Alla Gres А (the second attempt to get to the Premier League) won the second place in the First League and managed to qualify to get to the group of the strongest teams of the country.
In 1986 Grodno women's team got a new name - "Ritm" and from this year to 1991 it participated in the USSR Championship, where the team played against such teams of the country as "Kolos", "Andizhanka", SKIF, "Tauras".
Grodno female students of Grodno College of Physical Culture (and only they were members of the team of the BSSR) won bronze medals as well as the right to awarding the title of "Master of Sport of the USSR". Fourteen athletes were honored of the title: E. Romanenko, N. Mustafina, A.Onisko, E. Tabolich, V. Sedlyar, M. Chernyh, A. Malez, A. Kovsh, E. Savich, G. Poliksha, N.Bogdan, N. Boltina, S. Mikhailova, and T. Sobolevskaya."Ritm" became the finalist of the USSR Cup (1989 - 1990 years). In 1991, "Ritm" was the winner of the first series Cup of the cup-holders of the European counties that was held in the Netherlands.
Since 1992 "Ritm" has been permanent champion of the Republic of Belarus in field hockey competitions and indoor hockey (a winter version of the game). "Ritm" is a 5 - time winner of "silver" Cup of Indoor Hockey European Champions, and for 3 times the team has won bronze medals. Since 1996 Dashko Nina Ivanovna has been training the team. From 1986 to 1991 the following players were in various National Teams of the USSR: M.Rusina, A.Kovsh, V.Sedlyar, L.Krivitskaya, N.Rusinovitch, E. Sukhanova, A.Kovalenko, and Т. Sobolevskaya.
Now the members of the National Team of Belarus are: N.Uladzimirava, O Shyntar, V. Pekhtsiarova, M. Korzh-Tsepun, Y. Kurhanskaya, A. Basareuskaya, M. . Halinouskaya, A. Nekhai, I. Kazachok, Y. Laptsevich, A. Vasilyeva. "Ritm" is the basic team for the National Teams of the Republic of Belarus.
At the World Indoor Hockey Championship in 2006 the National Team of Belarus, mainly consisting of Grodno players, won the 5th place.
For growth and preparation of the players-prize-winners of IX Summer Games of the USSR coaches A. Gres, A., Y. Yanchenko, N.Dashko were awarded a high title of "Honored Coach of the BSSR". Referees on the international competitions are represented by M. Vlasenkova and A. Kisel - internationally certified referees.
In 2007, to the 30th anniversary of Grodno hockey builders of the city presented a wonderful gift to all hockey amateurs and professionals - sports stadium with artificial covering with sitting capacity for 2 thousand people went into operation.
By the decision of Grodno City Council of Deputies on September, 13, 2008 the Head Coach of Hockey Club "Ritm", Honored Coach of the Republic of Belarus Nina Ivanovna Dashko and the Hockey Club "Ritm" were included in the Book of Glory of Grodno.
On September, 15th , 2010 HC "Ritm" was liquidated accordint to the decision of Grodno Executive Committee.
Under the agreement between Grodno Executive Committee - the founder of HC "Ritm" and JSC "Grodno Azot" all the players and club workers were affiliated to JSC "Grodno Azot". By the order of the Director General of JSC "Grodno Azot" I.F.Zhilin, dd 01.09.2010, a separate organization department HC "Ritm Azot" was organized with 36 people of regular staff.