It is a great pleasure for me to welcome everyone on behalf of the European Hockey Federation to the marvellous facilities here in Siauliai for the third European Hockey Youth Trophy, U18 Girls. The expansion of youth competition over the last six years has been one of the most exciting developments promoted by EHF. The previous U18 competition in 2003 was contested by only 16 nations - this year we have a record entry of 25 different countries taking part, here and at four other venues across Europe. Great progress indeed, and a strong message for the future development of our sport.
I wish the very best of luck to all those who are taking part in this tournament. To the coaches, umpires and officials but especially the players, may you enjoy a competitive, rewarding and, above all, enjoyable event. These tournaments are usually well attended, with many spectators being the proud parents, or grand-parents of the players. For your support to them, I thank you.
Finally, tournaments like this take a lot of organising. The European Hockey Federation is most grateful to the Lithuanian Hockey Federation and its President Leonardas Caikauskas, for all the hard work that has taken place to ensure a well-organised and exciting tournament.
European Hockey Federation
Dear Participants and Guests of the Championship,
It is a great pleasure for me to welcome you in Lithuania!
It is already a beautiful tradition when sporting passion live in Šiauliai in summer - not only Lithuanian but as well various International sports disciplines competitions take place here constantly. One of constant - International Hockey Championships taking place here every summer. This time Šiauliai city accepts participants of III Europoen Youth (U-18) Championships. Hockey is very popular and well-liked in Šiauliai and hochey players of this city are one of the strongest in Lithuania. However, I would like to take pleasure in geography of this nice play which is spreading in Lithuania - new hockey stadiums are being constructed in our capital Vilnius and in the nearest future we shall invite hockey players to compete in new stadiums.
And today I wish every participant of III European Youth Championship supreme success. Let your fight be glorious and then the victory will impart unique emotions and delight! Honourable and nice play will leave many nice and indelible impressions for all fans of hockey!
Director General of the Lithuanian State Department of Sport and Physical Education
Dear Hockey Friends,
It is a great pleasure for me to welcome players, coaches, referees and officials of the III European Girls U18 Championship to Lithuania, the city of Šiauliai!
Šiauliai - a capital of the Lithuanian hockey. Hockey is loved and honoured here. Šiauliai women's clubs "Šiauliai" and "Gintra-Universitetas" sounded and sounds the Lithuanian name for a decade in Europe and players of this city won medals of the higest level at Continental Championships.
Hockey Sports Complex of the city of Šiauliai is one of the best in Baltic countries and it gives the right for the Lithuania to invite EHF official Tournaments of the higest level.
In 2000-2003 EHF entrusted Lithuanian Hockey Federation and city of Šiauliai to organise oficial competitions of the higest level: I Baltic Cup Tournament, Qualifying Tournament of European Women's Championship, 1st B Division Tournament of European women's U18 Championships, "A" division competitions of II European Girls U16 Championships. This year EHF entrusted Lithuania to organise second according to level Youth U18 Championships in which 6 countries from Scotland, Wales, France, Czechia, Russia and Lithuania will compete regarding two places to the highest group.
This European Championships will be the first for the most young hockey players in their long nice sporting career. I believe that the first serious try-out will be remembered by sets of medals which will be shared in Šiauliai. Let these medals be the first in collection that maybe will be added by olympic awards.
I thank sincerely the municipality of the city of Šiauliai and citizens, Department of Sport and Physical Education, Lithuanian National Olympic Committee, supporters and friends without which support and sincere assistance this feast would be impossible.
Lithuanian Hockey Federation