On 23 May sporting programme of the St. Petersburg Economic Forum has been unveiled followed by an exhibition ice-hockey game played by SPIEF and St. Petersburg teams.
Three times Olympic champion in Greco-Roman Wrestling, State Duma Deputy and Hero of the Russian Federation opened the presentation. He noted that the sporting programme expanded the variety of communication formats during the Forum by taking them outside the usual discussions and sessions. Additionally, he referred to dictatorship of rules as a foundation for trust in both sports and economics. “Three years ago the Roscongress Foundation supported this experiment and today it’s evident that sports are in high demand in all parts of the Forum, including the business agenda. When high-ranking participants meet in an athletic situation the level of trust goes up, which in turn reflects on potential business negotiations. The ideas of sports and economics resonate together. Both of them rely on development, cooperation and competition. At the economic forums we see dominating participants fight for our attention – yet, it’s a fair fight, a respectful one. Following rigid rules that provide for a valorous victory or a signed agreement, the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum becomes a planetary event that shows the world we’re open to cooperation based on competition in both economics and sports,” said Mr. Karelin.
Head of the European Union commission of the European Olympic Committee, two times Olympic winner in hammer throw Yuri Tamm (Estonia) underscored the importance of sports in SPIEF business programme and its presence in the expo area. “It so happened that the leading global companies take advantage of presenting themselves during major sporting tournaments. However, it’s important for sports to walk the other lane of this road towards economic forums. In Davos, it doesn’t quite work out yet. However, in St. Petersburg sports are everywhere all the time. For instance, many countries still argue if cybersports are an athletic discipline, while SPIEF is hosting an interesting discussion about cybersport being a new trend in the sporting industry,” Mr. Tamm noted.
This year, SPIEF sporting programme will debut a squash tournament taking place 25 May and equestrian show jumping event that will happen 26 May in Derby Equestrian Athletic Club supported by J.U.M.P. “Show jumping is an aesthetic that appeals to wide audiences. At the same time, equestrian sports add a sense of status to athletes or owners of stables and horses, thus opening new dialogue formats, which in its turn matches the goals of the economic forum. This is how the idea came around to organize the Roscongress Cup, an equestrian championship and competition for the North-Western Federal District”, said deputy director of the Roscongress Foundation Irina Zhiltsova.
“Today, we can see that the sporting programme is not only expanding but it’s reaching a whole new level. Friendly match between Russian and French fencing teams at the Ethnography Museum, international golfing tournament at the Peterhof Golf Club, a race at the Krestovsky Island – these are the examples of the sporting programme promoting various athletic activities. The traditional gala-matches in ice-hockey and basketball will be joined by the year-round Roscongress Sport Club, that provides its members with new services and communicative options. This project will be presented 25 May in the Roscongress Lounge,” said Deputy Director of the Roscongress Foundation Georgy Brusov.
The conclusion of the day that preceded the main programme of the Forum was the gala-match in ice-hockey between SPIEF and St. Petersburg teams. The Minister of Transportation of the Russian Federation Evgeniy Ditrich played for the SPIEF team. He was joined by Natalia Pochinok, rector of the Russian State Social University, Konstantin Goncharov, CEO of Novotrans Group of Companies, Alexander Insurin, Chairman of the Board, Far-Eastern Shipping Company FESCO, Ilim Group board members Boris and Mikhail Zingarevich and other representatives of the business community. St. Petersburg team was made up of members of the city government and the legislative assembly. The city team won 6:3, yet this definitely was the case when everyone was a winner.