Volodymyr Dubinsky, president of the PVLU: “I am happy that I was not wrong when I decided for myself in 2018 that it was Prometey who should ignite Ukrainian volleyball. I am glad that I have a great team of professionals around me, people with high goals, who are passionate about volleyball, and whom I trust. There was no mistake in the ladies who play under the red and white badge. I was not mistaken about the strength and power of the Ukrainians, who are capable of anything. And I am sure that we will continue writing new pages in the history of the club and in the history of victorious Ukraine.”
Every year there are more and more records of victories on the pages of the history of the women's team “Prometey”. It has been written by legends of Ukrainian volleyball and young talents who join the big Prometey family. Without a doubt, “Prometey” is a new breath of Ukrainian volleyball, a phenomenon of our sport that proves that nothing is impossible!
President of VC Prometey Mariia Aleksandrova: “Today, the sports club “Prometey” is a famous name. This is a club known for its sporting successes far beyond the borders of the country, this is a team that surprises with its pressure and incredible thirst for victory, this is a coaching staff that changed the perception of volleyball for all Ukrainian fans, this is simply an amazing story that began in 2019, and which continues at a frantic pace, and it is a symbol of Ukrainian sports, which even in war conditions is developing at an incredible pace.”
Despite the martial law in Ukraine, the 2022/2023 volleyball season for the “red and white” team turned out to be eventful and successful. Moreover, “Prometey” became the base club for Ukrainian volleyball and during the season, taking into account the financial problems related to martial law, provided significant financial assistance to other volleyball clubs in Ukraine. And here it is simply impossible not to mention our brave soldiers and not to thank the Armed Forces of Ukraine for the fact that this season did take place in Ukraine, for the fact that the athletes had the opportunity to play and win, and the fans had the opportunity to enjoy this beautiful sport and cheer for their favorite teams. Ukrainian heroes, at the cost of their own health and lives, provide us with peace and the opportunity to live and do what we love. And thanks to the press service of PVLU, which is overseen by media director Mykhailo Baltaksa, the whole country and our compatriots abroad had the opportunity to promptly learn the latest news from the volleyball courts.
And there was a lot of news during this season! First, in the Czech Republic, our players represented “Prometey” and Ukraine with dignity - they won the first two rounds of the Extraliga. The Champions League was difficult for the “red and whites”, but the team won a historic victory over “Le Cannet”, which is almost half-staffed by russian volleyball players. The ladies recall that this victory was fundamental for them and they were very happy that they succeeded in it. The Middle European League (MEVZA) brought three victories in four matches to the team of Ivan Petkov, and the status of favorites of this League. It should be noted that the team's coaching staff - first assistant coach Denys Zui, assistant Blagovest Todorov, analyst coach Lazar Lazarov, fitness coach Leandro Lardone, scoutman Danylo Meliushkin, doctor and massage therapist Yurii Ihnatchenko and Oleh Kryvko - worked professionally under the leadership of the Bulgarian specialist.
However, the team preferred the national championship and returned to Ukraine. The Bulgarian coach, despite the war in Ukraine, did not leave the team either and came back with the team. It should be said that it was not easy for the players: one part of the team practiced and played in the Czech Republic, in the city of Kutna Hora, and the other one was based in a quite safe Chernivtsi in “Sohiachna Dolyna”, still far from home and relatives. Many families remained in the frontline cities; some had to survive the horrors of the war, fleeing from the occupation. Therefore, the club administration had to work not only on the physical condition of the athletes but also to provide psychological support. However, even with the beginning of the full-scale invasion, the club's administration resolutely took responsibility for the safety of all the athletes.
The team gathered for the Super League-Dmart playoffs - under the leadership of Ivan Petkov, the reunited club resolutely became the champion of Ukraine!
Is it not the development of our country that brave men and women from the Armed Forces of Ukraine give their health and lives for? Probably, the realization of this became decisive for Volodymyr Dubinsky to develop volleyball regardless of anything at the beginning of the full-scale invasion of Russia in Ukraine. Although it was very difficult to decide because the war became a real test for the whole country. The club's administration had no right to expose the players to danger, the athletes went abroad to safe places and signed contracts with European clubs in order to have a job and a safe life. What had just begun to develop was threatened. As well as the life of the whole country.
However, the president of the club, Volodymyr Dubinsky, had no right to surrender and did not want to. Together with his team, he directed all his efforts to meet the needs of the military, Territorial defense forces, and forcibly displaced people. Humanitarian work was in full swing. The volunteer movement of the club was supported by the president of the UVF, Mykhailo Melnyk, together with the executive committee of the federation, and the Minister of Youth and Sports of Ukraine, Vadym Hutsait, did not remain aloof from the solution of humanitarian issues. The entire volleyball community joined in collecting funds for equipment for the soldiers, and volleyball players prepared dinners for defenders. Volodymyr Mykhailovych proudly talks about the incredible cohesion of the entire team: “ The ladies actively joined the work, quickly retrained into the cooks, and tried to help as much as possible - both with their hands and their savings. It was incredible! I was simply stunned by the unity shown by the athletes in our common misfortune. We managed to donate more than 20 million UAH for the needs of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and this is not the final figure. We continue to help the military in solving their issues and needs. This is our contribution to the common victory!”.
Probably, this confidence in the strength of our people prompted the president of the club to send all problems after the russian warship and make a firm decision: For Ukrainian volleyball! “Prometey” to be! Despite everything! Moreover, volleyball will reach a new level of development.
On June 28, 2022, it was finally approved that the Professional Volleyball League of Ukraine receives the right to hold the championship of Ukraine among women's and men's teams of the Super League. Volodymyr Dubinsky became the president of PVLU.
A team of like-minded people has gathered - this is the president of VC “Prometey” Mariia Aleksandrova, general manager of the club Dmytro Paliichuk, managers Aurimas Mileyshis and Yaroslav Mazur, media director Mykhailo Baltaksa, and marketing director Illia Hrechnykov - and each in their own direction began to implement ideas and plans into life, actively engaging in the development of the club and Ukrainian volleyball as a whole. And of course, Prometey was one of the first teams to apply for participation in the championship under the aegis of PVLU.
It was not easy to gather the team again, because many girls already had contracts with other clubs. Moreover, the main issue remained the safety of the players on the territory of Ukraine. But nothing is impossible for people who once already built everything from scratch. Moreover, there were many plans, because the start of the war-interrupted season clearly shaped the course that both the players and their mentors wanted to follow.
They started the 2021-22 season with team renewal and personnel changes in the coaching staff, which very quickly made a difference. “Prometey” made its way to the main draw of the CEV Champions League - the most prestigious European club tournament, having performed quite successfully in the qualifying round. However, the team could not overcome the group stage, getting into the four with strong opponents.
But at home, in the Ukrainian arena, the “red and whites” left no chance for their opponents. They won a convincing victory in the Cup of Ukraine and performed successfully in the national championship. “Prometey” stubbornly increased the strength and quality of the game, as evidenced by the Super League standings. But then life made its adjustments. In February 2022, volleyball matches, as well as the peaceful life of Ukrainians, were interrupted by the sound of an air alarm. The Super League games were forced to be stopped, and the players from “Prometey” finished the last ones with the highest result. It was already a different team than a year ago - more balanced, with clear goals, and more united than ever before. And Volodymyr Dubinsky considers this to be the merit of the coach to whom he entrusted the ladies from Prometey.
The goal for the 2020-2021 season was to make a step into a new volleyball. The ladies had to become a team worthy of competing in European arenas. Therefore, the transfer market became more active, and the team changed its composition almost completely. Many legionnaires who knew how to play high-speed European volleyball joined the team. And here comes another name that will completely change the history of “Prometey” and become a phenomenon for Ukrainian volleyball. Of course, we are talking about coach Ivan Petkov, the former coach of the Bulgarian national team and VC “Maritsa”.
“I understood that it was necessary to change the composition of the team, it was necessary to completely change the coaching approach. And I was sure that Ivan could do it because his work was amazing. I decided that I would do everything so that Ivan Petkov was in Ukraine, in “Prometey”- Volodymyr Dubinsky shares his plans at the time.
The coach did not refuse, he immediately accepted Volodymyr Mykhailovych's offer and took the first flight to Ukraine. Thus began a new page in the history of "Prometey" with a course for serious victories. In that season, the “red and whites” managed to win all the trophies in the Ukrainian arena without losing a single match. Of course, at that time these were important and impressive trophies because everything started practically from scratch. Although the debut season already showed that the team has potential and good prospects.
On September 27, 2019, our volleyball players had the first-ever official match in Zaporizhzhia against the local team “Orbita”, as part of the championship of Ukraine, and won a “3:0” victory. If it weren't for the coronavirus pandemic, the club would have already impressed with the results in its debut season, because before the end of the competition, the girls reached the top of the tournament table, leaving far behind their closest rivals - Yuzhnyi's “Khimik”. The first Cup of Ukraine was also successful for ladies from Prometey. It may not be a victory, but the “red and whites” managed to make it to the “Final Four” and win bronze.
In the first season of the club's career at the Euroarena, the girls clearly lacked experience. Moreover, the opponent was not an easy one - the German team “Dresdner” did not leave our team a chance to win, but gave the newcomers the necessary experience. And the founders of the club gained confidence that the main victories and trophies are ahead, and they must be fought for. And they made sure that they were not mistaken, having already decided to play in the Super League in the first game season. “We decided to immediately take the height. I was sure that with the people who were around, this was an achievable bar”, - Volodymyr Dubinsky recalls the practical start of the “red and white” team, - we already had the fire of Prometey ignited, and we had no right to smolder, only to burn brightly!”
It was only the beginning, only the first volleyball year of “Prometey”. Today, we can confidently say that Ukrainian volleyball is lucky to have such a person as Volodymyr Dubinsky. The very idea of creating a club arose back in 2018, but the circumstances were such that the philanthropist Volodymyr Dubinsky was able to implement it already the following year.
The project was created in Kamianske and was closely connected with this city, therefore the reconstruction of the sports complex was carried out, and the hall became the best small hall in the country. However, over time, a series of events took place, due to which the club management had to change the location of the team, moving to Slobozhanske. It must be said that the team was assembled from scratch, all over the country. It was possible to bring back several players from abroad, we were lucky enough to attract legionnaires from Brazil and Bulgaria to the team, and “Prometey” was the first club to do so in the history of the championship of Ukraine. To this day, Volodymyr Mykhailovych considers the idea of creating a club quite crazy, but the risk for the actual good justifies itself. Especially if people who are ready to work and give all their knowledge and strength for the development of Ukrainian sports undertake it - master of sports of the international class Mariia Aleksandrova and experienced coach Andrii Romanovych.
“I immediately became fascinated by this project. Ukraine needed new blood in sports, especially in volleyball. Moreover, I had a muse, an inspiration, the pride of Ukrainian volleyball, Mariia Aleksandrova. I knew that with such a person we would be fine.”, - recalls today Volodymyr Mykhailovych.
Indeed, Mrs. Mariia did not doubt for a moment, although she had a promising invitation from one of the Russian clubs. She wanted to give all her experience to Ukrainian volleyball. Moreover, Mariia Volodymyrivna's experience is really impressive. For 11 years, she played for the national team of Ukraine; a three-time champion of Ukraine, in clubs in Germany, and Turkey, and in the Austrian team “Telekom”, the volleyball player received the award of the best middle blocker of the European Cup. She ended her career as a player in 2007 in the Greek “Olympiakos”. In her last season, she became the silver medalist of the local championship. After the end of her career, Mariia Volodymyrivna stayed in Luhansk, but in 2014, with the beginning of the war started by russia, she was forced to flee from our “neighbors” - with her daughter and only one suitcase for two, Mariia came to Kamianske.
She recalls that she accepted the offer to become the manager of the professional women's volleyball team “Prometey” with a strong desire to start a big business and firm confidence in success: “I believed in Volodymyr Mykhailovych, and he believed in me. Yes, many people tried to dissuade me, because at that time, I received attractive offers, and there was nothing here. Nevertheless, I did not doubt for a moment! I had sports experience; I had confidence in the person who was next to me. I wanted to be part of the history of Ukrainian volleyball. I was not mistaken and today I am happy about it”.