The program of the Special Olympics World Winter Games to be held in Kazan in 2022 has floorball competitions among other sports. The sport is young but perfect for both children and adults. In Kazan, Nikita Tsukhlov, a student of the Volga Region Academy of Physical Education, Sport and Tourism, coaches the floorball team of the boarding school No. 1. He is also a partner of the unified floorball team of the Tatarstan Republican branch of Special Olympics Russia.
Floorball is a very young sport that emerged as a more affordable alternative to hockey. In Russia, floorball began to actively develop in the late 2000s and now keeps gaining in popularity. This sport is good for both adults and children. According to Nikita, floorball develops coordination, attention, it is accessible and can be practiced all year round.
Nikita himself got interested in this sport more than 8 years ago in Ulyanovsk. “I caught the wave of floorball growing popularity. So I was invited to the team and proceeded with trainings,” he said.
Now the young athlete is a Kazan citizen and a second-year student of the Volga Academy of Physical Culture, Sport and Tourism. “When I was getting ready for enrollment, I cooperated with the Department of Adaptive Physical Education,” Nikita said. “It turned out that my sport is sought-after in this area. I was offered to try a hand at training the children. At first, I was an assistant coach. By the time I entered the academy I already had some experience, I began to train the younger group. The coach was working with an older guys. I wanted to both go in for sports and discover a new trend for myself. Besides, I like helping people.”
As part of the unified floorball team, Nikita participated in the qualifying competitions in Kazan. Ahead of the team lays the selection for the Special Olympics World Winter Games 2022. “We are training hard with the number of trainings going up. We hope it lies in our power to make it through the selection,” Nikita added. It is worth noting that there are 10-12 people in the floorball team, of which, according to the rules of unified competitions, there are two partners, the rest are athletes aged over 15.
Like any other sport, floorball gives athletes the opportunity to develop, look at life at a new angle, and brings new emotions. “The children we train live in a boarding school. We go to different competitions, where they get new impressions,” Nikita shared with us.