The first EkoNivaAgro ski race was held at a ski base in Liski on 4th February. Above-zero temperature, gusty winds and rain did not dampen the competition atmosphere. On the contrary, had the weather conditions been perfect with the temperature slightly below zero and a smooth ski track, the ski race would not have been as compelling and intense.
The contestants were the employees of all subdivisions of EkoNivaAgro. The girls opened the competition by a short-distance race. Soon after the start, the race leaders showed up on the horizon. Alyona Romanova was the first to cross the finish line, Anna Artyumakova was the runner-up, and Liliya Denisova came in third.
‘The mood is excellent, though the weather has fallen short of expectations. It has not affected the sports festival, fortunately’, shared her emotions Alyona Romanova, the women's race winner. ‘It is terrific that the company management cares for healthy lifestyle and holds sports events like this. They have a powerful team-building effect and are important for our unity, because we are a big team both in work and in sports.’
Alyona Romanova, Deputy Chief Herd Manager for Young Stock of EkoNivaAgro – Left Bank Operation, apart from skiing, also plays volleyball and table tennis and is a regular participant of EkoNivaAgro sports events.
Men and boys competed for two sets of medals in long-distance races. Participants from EkoNivaAgro-Vostochnoye Operation had thoroughly prepared for the contest: they had identical sports jackets and ski equipment. Moreover, they had trained a few days before the competition, which, as well as his good shape, helped Ruslan Biksaliyev, Dairy Manager in Verkhniy Ikorets, to win the men's race.
‘It is always a pleasure to participate in such competitions’, says Ruslan Biksaliyev. ‘Due to weather conditions, the ski track is worse than yesterday, when we had a training session; however, it is possible to ski on it. The toughest competition was at the start, afterwards I managed to break away from other contestants and get to the finish line first. I would like to thank EkoNivaAgro for the excellent organisation of the ski race, positive emotions and the opportunity to socialise with my colleagues outside work.’
Aleksandr Timchenko came in second and Sergey Ovcharenko was third in the men's senior race. In the men's junior race, there also was a serious battle. Having shown the best result, Daniil Savchuk came in first, Artyom Stupakov was second and Andrey Veselyev was third.
Not only adults, but also children were able to take part in the ski race. A Kids’ race was organised for the little athletes. Konstantin Kepf was first, Yelizaveta Pluzhnikova came in second and Dmitry Deyev finished third.
‘It is the first time we have held a ski competition’, says Aleksey Afanasyev, Chairman of Trade Union Committee of EkoNivaAgro. ‘Sports life of the company should develop in all directions; therefore, we have moved on to a whole next level and now provide the employees with the opportunity to participate in sports events. I would like to thank Aleksandr Rybenko, Director of EkoNivaAgro, for supporting the corporate sports and including cross-country skiing in our sports agenda. Winter provides as many opportunities to compete outdoors as summer. So, after today, we are starting to prepare for winter fishing contest, which will be held on 17th February.’
By Viktor BARGOTIN