LITHUANIAN HOCKEY FEDERATION CELEBRATES 30 YEARS ANNIVERSARY
Time goes quickly without turning back… In this autumn Lithuanian Hockey Federation will celebrate 30 years anniversary of hard work. Thanks to this work the assets of small hockey family, who was able to legalize this kind of sport in Lithuania. Scrupulous work of coaches and social workers brought fame to Lithuanian country like a citadel of hockey in Europe and entire world.
During these years hockey sport tasted big challenges, losses, failures, but with the true peoples help and their hard work in the everyday trainings and tournaments the situation changed. That shows the solid winnings both in USSR championships, both in Independent Lithuanian, both in European and World Championships.
In 1977 doctors, coach, writer, and hockey cherisher Mr. Feliksas Paskevicius united Siauliai girls to a team and began the hockey road in Lithuania…
In 1985 and in 1987 legendary hockey team “Tauras” from Siauliai won the USSR championship bronze medals and USSR cups twice.
In 1987 and in 1989 then name of Lithuania heard for the first time Europe and World when in London in European Championship the bronze medals were presented to Onute Simkute – Kanaporiene and Virginia Povilionyte – Caikauskiene. And in Canada World Youth Championship again bronze medals were presented to the representatives of Lithuania – Rasa Baniulyte – Cepiene, Rasa Kriksciunaite, Ramune Pilkauskaite – Berzanskiene and to the honoured coach of Lithuania Mr. Rimantas Caikauskas, 20th century best Siauliai city coach.
In 1995 the legendary Siauliai hockey women team “Tauras” won the bronze medal of the continents club championship “A” div. and this happened in the hockey Mecca – in Holland!
In 1997-2007 Lithuanian women championship winners with breaks participates in elite European women clubs championships. And this anniversary year Siauliai hockey club “Gintra-Strekte-Universitetas” leading the honoured coach Mr. Vaidotas Vaiceliunas got back to the strongest ranks.
In 1998 Lithuanian women national team debuted successfully in European women Championship qualification in Sweden and in 1999 won the 8th place in final games in Germany and got the ticket to the World qualification tournament.
In 2002 Lithuanian women national team for the first time won the silver medals in European Hockey Indoor Championship in France and after one year won the 6th place in World Championship in Germany.
In 1997-2007 Lithuanian Youth team U-21 is the leader in European Indoor Hockey Championships. The winnings are impressive,5 championships – 1 time golden medals, 2 times silver medals and 2 times bronze medals winners!
In 2003-2007 LHF together with sport schools, hockey clubs balanced the system of the tournaments, against all the odds (diminishing returns of budget) and managed to return to the strongest ranks of European Hockey, where plays the strongest continents women teams such as: Holland, Germany, Spain, England, Scotland, Belgium, Ireland and etc.
Lithuanian Olympic reserve national teams secured to represent country for two years in European Championships with the highest rating over the all LHF history:
- In 2007-2009 Lithuanian youth U-18 national team – 6th place between the 24 countries;
- In 2006-2008 Lithuanian youth U-16 national team – 7th place between the 24 countries;
- In 2006-2008 Lithuanian youth U-21 national team – 7th place between the 24 countries.
World and Lithuanian sport, that is the fight of sportsmen and coaches in the fields, stadiums, that is the sport organizers hard work in the offices, forums, conferences, were you can not stop to have a rest, because then you can be pushed by the stronger and more powerful…
The same and in our sport. LHF managed to build 3 synthetic pitches in Siauliai, Vilnius and Kedainiai. In Siauliai and Vilnius LHF proceeded 5 European Championships, Baltic countries and international tournaments. These events helped to attract more support, sponsors, public attention.
The countries hockey clubs and sport schools should concentrate more to a creative work and positively act to attract more new players, their parents to the club activity, create new clubs with the administration and people who would like to work to their own team and hockey.
On the 2nd-9th of September in Siauliai will take place EuroHockey Nations Trophy (Women), where will participate national women teams from Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Russia, Scotland and Lithuania. In this championship the teams will fight for the three tickets to the qualification of the Olympic Games in Beijing who will take place in Canada, Russia and Azerbaijan in 2008.
Lithuanian women national team hopes to get to the next stage of the Olympic Games as each participating country. Lithuania has big opportunity, knowing that the important games will take place in Siauliai.
Let’s wish success to the players and coaches and let’s believe that our dreams will come true!