09 AUGUST 2011

The Second World Children’s Winners Games

The Second World Children’s Winners’ Games, an athletic event for child cancer survivors organized by Gift of Life foundation, took place on August 4-7 2011.

Gift of Life is a foundation that helps children not only recover from their illnesses but also to return to normal child life. This return may present a problem for many of them. “We organize these games so that the children can again feel that they are healthy, strong, and happy. Their will to win is amazing, and they have proved it again during these games,” says Nadezhda Kuznetsova, who heads the World Children’s Winners’ Games project.

This was the second time our foundation hosted these games. This year the participants of the event (which took place at a recreation centre nearMoscow) were over 300 children from eight countries:Russia,Belarus,Hungary,Latvia,Romania,Turkey,Ukraine, and theCzechRepublic. They came to the Winners’ Games together in order to show the world that child cancer is curable and that survivors are capable of any achievements, including sporting ones. The competitions included running, shooting, table tennis, swimming, chess, and football. And don’t forget the special competitions: running with support and wheelchair racing for handicapped participants.

The children won a lot of medals and cups. Some of the gold medal winners were children who had previously received help from Gift of Life, such as12 year old Dasha Kudryavtseva from Irkutsk, the shooting champion. “When they announced that I’d won, I was really surprised and glad, both for myself and for my grandpa, who was my trainer,” Dasha tells.

The sports grounds were full of real sporting passion. Dmitriy Zanin, correspondent of the Russia-2 sports channel, whose emotional commentaries accompanied the football games and award ceremonies, says, “These children have got used to fighting and winning, but still they remain normal children. You’d never guess that there was a serious illness in their past.” Elena, mother of Andrei Semryakov from the Latvian team, adds, “I’d like to thank the organizers for not forgetting about the parents: there were sports competitions for us as well, and even a make-up master class for the mums.” Also, a playground with amusement rides, clowns, entertainers, and arts classes was arranged near the sports grounds during the two days of the event.

Famous Russian sportsmen and actors visited the event in order to congratulate the participants and show their respect and admiration.

The athletic competitions ended on the evening of August 6. The same evening a happy concert was followed by a dancing party and a firework show.

Our foundation thanks all participants of these games and all the sponsors whose support made it possible to arrange this wonderful festival of sports, joy and victory.