Herisau, Switzerland, May 4, 2018- On a May 4th Friday that left spectators starry eyed, one of the more poignant things that graced the court was the true spirit of team togetherness and respect for the opponent that epitomises the spirit of the Floorball game. Not only did Russia and Hungary play out an entertaining and clean finale to Group D in the B-Division, but they surprised everybody in attendance when inviting their Hungarian counterparts to sign a poster they’d prepared afterwards, a ‘special souvenir’ the Russian team is compiling to commemorate their journey at the IFF U19 Women’s Floorball World Championships.
It was a poignant moment as the Hungary team approached to pen their signatures, sharing a smile, handshake and a good luck wish to their Russian counterparts going into the semi-finals, even in the knowledge that they may face each other again in the final.
That said, this Russian team, despite boasting individual brilliance in players such as Anastasiia Bulbash, has turned several heads in Herisau with their team ethos, Head Coach Vadim Pilipenko having instilled a philosophy into his players that they win together and lose together as a team, and therefore dig in and believe in themselves, for each other, and the collective success of the team.
Another sign of the deep-rooted bond within this side that hasn’t gone unnoticed, is the fact that they all bear the same ink insignia on their forearms, coaching staff and players alike.
“We all agreed as a team to bear this mark together”, Head Coach, Pilipenko, explained. “It’s a sign of belonging to one body, not membership per se, but togetherness, a bond that cannot be broken. We see it as a physical sign of a team spirit, playing as a unit together, and we will not be separated by victory or by defeat. We go through the motions together, for you win as a team, and lose as individuals”.
“We respect our opponents also. Without them, we would have no journey here to make, and we remember them for the great games and memories they make with us. This is what the game is all about”.