Vees important part of immigrant experience

SOIC helps immigrants in Penticton get exposed to part of the communities culture by taking them to Penticton Vees games

ALEKSANDR KOLMOGOROV experienced North American hockey for the first time thanks to an initiative by South Okanagan Immigrants and Community Services to help integrate immigrants into the community.

ALEKSANDR KOLMOGOROV experienced North American hockey for the first time thanks to an initiative by South Okanagan Immigrants and Community Services to help integrate immigrants into the community.

Aleksandr Kolmogorov watched a lot of hockey while growing up in Moscow, Russia.

As a youngster, he cheered for Spartak Moscow of the Kontinental Hockey League.

Having moved to Penticton over a month ago, he recently experienced North American hockey when he took in a Penticton Vees game thanks to the South Okanagan Immigrant and Community Services.

“I think it looks very professional,” said Kolmogorov, who was accompanied by employment and settlement services counsellor of SOIC Chris Hartt, as the Vees lost to the Salmon Arm SilverBacks 2-1 on Jan. 31. “Definitely quality hockey. I enjoy it very much.”

Kolmogorov said the game here is different from Russia in one aspect.

“A little more of rough play,” he said. “Actually, I love it.”

When asked about the differences in players’ skill, Kolmogorov said KHL players are more patient with their plays and passes are a bit more accurate.

“Speed here actually is very high. I’m very impressed,” he added.

Kolmogorov’s attendance at the game is part of an initiative by SOIC and its welcoming communities initiative so that new immigrants know about their services.

“Taking people to Vees games is one of the initiatives to assimilate immigrants into the community by bringing them to Canada’s national sport,” said Hartt. “It’s been good, but I’d like to get as many immigrants as possible to the next home game.”

Kolmogorov plans on watching more Vees action. When asked which Vees player he was impressed with, Kolmogorov said Olivier Mantha.

“I think our goalie is pretty good,” he said. “But everyone is playing well.”