On May, 19 2005 the 11th Sports Festival got together 5,000 children from 110 different orphanages at the Sports
Arena of the “Luzhniki” Olympic Sports Complex. The Sports Festival is the largest annual event of its kind in
Russia, but what is the most important is that the Festival is the event children are really waiting for during
whole year. Lots of smiles, joy and an atmosphere of love and care as it’s in a real big family – its what the
Sports Festival is all about.
The children took part in different kind of sports, dance competitions, relay-race and also spent time with their
friends among the volunteers (500 volunteers participated and helped to organize the event this time). After the
sports events and a lunch time the surprise was prepared for all the participants. The most popular Russian pop
bands “UmaTurman” and “SMASH!!” came over to sing for all children that day. The kids could not believe that those
guys who are number#1 among pop singers in Russia came over to see them and sing for them. For almost all the orphans
it’s just a dream to visit their concert and that dream came true that day. The children had a chance to talk with
them and to make lots of pictures.
After the sports events and a lunch time there was award ceremony. We had some special guests who gave the presents
to the orphanage teams who got the 1st, 2nd and 3d place in different sports and games that were presented at the
Festival this year. As for example, one of the special guests was a professional Russian football team CSKA
(CSKA was the team who won the UEFA cup on May, 18 of 2005 – just one day before the Sports Festival – for the
first time in the history of Russia and the Former Soviet Union). They brought the balls and the uniform with the
signatures of every team player and many other gifts for children. All Russia celebrated the victory of CSKA during
all day and many celebrated during all night and you can only imagine how special it was for children who got 1st,
2nd and 3d place in a football tournament just on the next day to meet the SCKA people and to receive the award from
them. Also, CSKA agreed to give 400 free tickets for orphaned children and volunteers for each game of their team
in a season 2005-2006.
Here are some children’ responses and thoughts about the Sports Festival:
Anya, Natasha, Kirill, 5th grade
Q. What fires you up about the Sports Festival?
Special guests (Michael Jackson, Uma Turman, Christian Ray, SMASH!!, X-Mission, Willy Vilsimo and others);
Great snacks, extra food;
Good gifts (last year every orphanage was presented with 3 good balls for volleyball, soccer and basketball);
Lots of different, interesting contests, especially outdoors;
Joy, kindness, ready-to-help attitude, respect of volunteers;
Inspiring and exciting atmosphere;
To be honest everything is great and awesome there.
Andrei, 11th grade
I took part in all “HOPE” festivals. I will remember the festival because of few things: first of all,
I and my friends have won the first prize in lots of contests; second, I had a possibility to talk to my
friends from other Orphanages. Especially I’ll remember that I had a possibility to make a video record of
performance of our guys from the Orphanage – I liked that very much. It was so inspiring that most of the
competitions were indoors compare to previous festivals. I even was not upset when I was lost and I had to
look for my teacher to take part in a soccer game, because I was so happy to participate in most of the contests
with our Orphanage team.
Roma, 8th grade
Participating in all of the festivals, I’ve noticed that each festival differs from the previous one. One day
you’ve made up something basic and then each festival has been bringing something new in it. That’s why I’m
waiting for another festival with a feeling that you’ve invented something new this time. I still don’t know
how these volunteers can smile all day – they are very kind. I did not see people like this before.
We’re very grateful for love and care of all volunteers who support the Sport Festival for many years. Some of
you even participated personally before and you’re welcomed to come any time to participate in future and to see
the impact that your sacrifice has being made in life of orphaned children.