Regional qualifying competitions for the Winners Games took place in Chelyabinsk on April 29 – 30. 11 contestants will proceed to the Winners Games in Moscow.
The capital of the Southern Urals hosted Regionals for the fifth time. Each year, this athletic event is organized by “Iskorka”, a non-profit that supports children with oncological diseases. Its director, Evgeniya Mayorova, told us that this year 170 children gathered for the regionals. About three hundred children came to the venue “Lesnaya Zastava” as fans.
For the first time in five years the competition took two days. Apart from actual competitions, the children got to see a dog show, a theatrical performance and danced in the evening. Every child received a certificate of participation, prizes and those who finished 1st, 2nd, and 3rd were awarded medals. The latter will go on to compete in Moscow in June.
Tanya Sidorova, who earned gold in chess, shares her thoughts and plans, “This was a truly special event for me today. I got to meet a lot of children like me who competed, laughed and had fun. I realized that we are all normal children. Now I cannot wait to go to Moscow. I hope to win there as well”.
From the sports grounds the children will return in great spirits and, more important, with self-confident. Anna Raudsepp, a volunteer of “Gift of Life” and the coordinator of the regionals in Chelyabinsk, believes that they have achieved the main goal. “This athletic event was conceived and is organized every year, primarily, in order to inspire children and their parents to go into sports. The Games enable children to overcome fears and inhibitions brought by the serious illness of the child. During the long and difficult course of treatment, children tend to forget what it is like to move freely, live a full life and have no fear of losing”.