Grassroots Day proves a hit in Ukraine

Ukraine's UEFA Grassroots Day celebrations proved a success with former international players and over 4,000 children involved in activities taking place around the country.

Kyiv's Victor Bannikov complex was the centrepiece for Ukraine's UEFA Grassroots Day celebrations as more than 4,000 children, parents, coaches and volunteers participated in activities arranged all over the country.

Ukraine coach Oleg Blokhin, along with fellow former international players Volodymyr Muntyan, Stefan Reshko, Yevgen Rudakov, Volodymyr Troshkin and Victor Matviyenko, was among those present in the Ukrainian capital. Highlights of the day included the 'Make Kids Smile' festival, in conjunction with the Open Fun Football Schools programme, tournaments for youngsters from the Kyiv area, matches for disabled players and a special game between a team of celebrities and the sports media.

A number of dignitaries also spoke at the event in Kyiv, among them Pavlo Kostenko, head of the Committee on Family, Youth, Sports and Tourism in the Ukrainian Parliament. Kostenko highlighted football's role in developing the country and how he hopes the co-hosting of UEFA EURO 2012 will help give the game even more of a boost in Ukraine. He also made a special reference to the importance of grassroots football.

The day concluded with the handing out of prizes and presents to all of the participants by the former star players at the event.