Supporting sports is contributing to Penza region’s future, reputation – Alexei Savichev
Penza, 6 April 2016. PenzaNews. Supporting mass sports helps advocating healthy lifestyle for the younger generation and allows the adults to improve the outside reputation of the Penza region today, Alexei Savichev, Penza city Duma deputy of the sixth convocation for the polling district No. 2, head of construction company “AlexStroy” that significantly contributes to the development of the football team of the same name created in 2009, told PenzaNews.
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“First the team included the kids that we play with by the school, then we decided to see which apartment building yard team is the strongest, and next we joined the Penza Amateur Football League. As of now, the league grew to over 60 teams, and we went up not just to the interregional tournament; we even grew strong enough for Russian countrywide tournaments,” he explained.
The construction company explained that he paid the expenses for the equipment and the tournament entry fees at the team’s early stage, he added.
According to Alexei Savichev, personal investment by the players and intensive training soon bore fruit.
“We went to the competitions in Volzshky twice. We earned the fourth place on the first year, then we came next, and a year ago, when the tournament took place here in Penza, we were the best. This earned us a ticket for the 2015 Russian Cup, where we reached the third place,” the City Duma deputy explained.
Describing the highlights of “AlexStroy” team in their representation of the Penza region, he mentioned the 4th “Communications Cup” and the 9th “MosStroy Cup 2016” charity mini-football tournament, which took place in Moscow on March 19 and March 20 respectively.
“They ended up taking place right one after the other – one on Saturday, another one on Sunday. As a result, we came first in the ‘Communications Cup’ and third in the second tournament,” he said.
Each of the tournaments involved a total of 16 teams, and the Penza players left a positive impression in such a company.
“These are rather serious teams, and you can see their financing level just by their names: ‘MegaFon,’ ‘Rostelecom,’ ‘Leroy Merlin.’ And in the same row with them was the Penza ‘AlexStroy’ team, who came by and took the first and the third prizes. Our opponents were confused: how could this happen?” the City Duma deputy pointed out.
Each win give the footballers more confidence, and they proudly say: “And we are from Penza” when they are announced before the competition, he added.
Moreover, according to Alexei Savichev, another memorable event for the players was a meeting with the legendary USSR footballer, Distinguished Trainer of Russia Georgy Yartsev during one of the Moscow tournaments: the players managed to take his signature and make a photo with him.
The team “AlexStroy” will not be stopping at its current level, he stressed.
“In May, we plan to visit the tournament that will involve teams from Kazakhstan and Belarus as well as from Russia. It will take place in Moscow on May 6-9 and be dedicated to Victory Day. We will do everything to give a worthy representation to the Penza region,” the deputy said.
The entry fee for the previous year’s prize winners, including the Penza team, is around 60,000 rubles, while other teams will have to pay at least 120,000 rubles, not counting the food and lodging expenses, Alexei Savichev clarified.
“Right now, I am trying to involve the people I know, the like-minded people who are able to give their financial support to the team,” he explained, adding that the very idea of supporting sports and healthy lifestyle is gaining popularity among businessmen.
The love for football brought together people of different ages and professions, including school and university students and factory workers, who are not simply doing what they love but also shape the reputation of the Penza region as a territory of athletic people who are able to win.
“It is important to develop mass sports, right from the early age. For example, right now I am trying to push upwards the teams in my residential district – schools No. 67 and No. 76. We plan to order sports uniform for the kids that would sport the Penza region emblem on the chest and a symbolic drawing of Sura river on the back, so that they would be proudly representing the region. Perhaps some of them will end up being hidden gems who would go on to play in adult teams,” Alexei Savichev said.
According to him, even though the economic situation is tough, sports requires great attention, which will necessarily lead to results.
“Right now, for example, we are in the Penza region tournament, which features the guys from ‘GNK,’ champions for 12 years. They won tournaments of so many kinds, while we reached the level where we are on the second place in the roster today. We can possibly surpass them. This shows that our level is growing,” the Penza city Duma deputy summed up.