President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Friends,
I am delighted to welcome you to Artek, which for the second time in a row gives a warm and hospitable welcome to the finalists of the Bolshaya Peremena nationwide contest.
I sincerely congratulate the contest winners. You have shown what you are capable of, your talents, your best character traits, and coped with all the assignments admirably. Well done!
And I certainly congratulate all the finalists: you have also achieved great results. Some of you lacked just a little bit to achieve victory but it will make fighting for it next year even more exciting.
You have honourably traversed the way to the summit. I have no doubt each of you realises that Bolshaya Peremena is much more than a contest: it is a closely-knit team which unites hundreds of thousands of young people across the country, a true community of like-minded people which appreciates everyone, helps to believe in yourself and your energies and to find your way in life.
Bolshaya Peremena is also making progress, including thanks to your ideas and suggestions. Thus, new tracks appear in the contest, regional teams are being set up, while earlier this year The Good Saturday volunteer campaign was launched. It is great that you can take part in an interesting and much needed effort and also be its co-authors.
You obviously gain your victories independently. However, I think you always feel the support of your parents, tutors, instructors and classmates. They are also part of the Bolshaya Peremena community alongside you. I want to thank them for their interested and emphatic involvement.
You now have every opportunity to succeed in any profession you choose, to fully display and realise your abilities. And this is very important because the achievements of today’s school students and young people determine our country’s future.
I am sure that success will follow with the experience gained at Bolshaya Peremena as a solid foundation for it. Thanks to this experience, you now know exactly what you need to make all your dreams and your most daring ideas come true: self-confidence and determination to always move forward, gain new knowledge and set the highest benchmark for yourself. And, of course, a close-knit and reliable team of like-minded people.
I once again congratulate all the winners and finalists of the Bolshaya Peremena contest and wish you new victories in your lives and all the very best.