How the football community helps to maintain well-being: the experience of the Innovecs Lions team

April 30, 2024 7 min read

In 2021, Artem Voronin, a Motion Designer on a gaming project at Innovecs, founded the football team — Innovecs Lions. The team is actively developing and participating in its third tournament. Artem enthusiastically shares how the football community helps to strengthen not only the physical but also the psychological health of the participants and invites everyone to join the team.


Tell us a little bit about yourself, Artem. What is your role at Innovecs, and how did you become the football team captain?

I have been working at Innovecs for more than three years as a motion designer on a gaming project, where I developed advertising creatives for video games. The idea to form a football team emerged spontaneously in 2021, two years after COVID-19 and subsequent quarantine measures. As restrictions eased and people began attending offline events again, I discovered a running community at Innovecs where my teammates met after work to run together. Inspired by this sense of community, I organized a football team.

First training session of the Innovecs Lions.

Innovecs, as a large tech company, deserved to have a robust football team. As a vital element of social integration, it plays a significant role in strengthening corporate spirit. We quickly assembled the team and organized our first training session. As the captain of the Innovecs Lions, I don’t put myself above anyone else. Instead, I focus on fostering a team environment where everyone is treated equally.


Tell us about achievements of the team.

I believe our most significant achievement is that we managed to keep the team united during the full-scale invasion and continued to play and gather. When the war began, there was a general sense of despair, but two months after the troops retreated from Kyiv, I realized the importance of bringing the team together again. Sport not only disciplines us but also adds motivation, helping us to continue to fight and grow.

In terms of tournament achievements, our team is still relatively young and in the process of gaining experience. We are currently competing in the “9ka” tournament, a local amateur football league known for its competitive spirit and high level of play. This is our team’s third competition in the league. We meet twice weekly for team training on Mondays and tournament games on Saturdays. We chose the name Innovecs Lions to maintain the legacy of the Innovecs hockey team.

This season, our goal is to make it into the TOP-5 among 12 teams, and we currently hold the third position. We are hopeful and driven to build on this success and continue improving.


Why is it essential for the company to support such initiatives?

Supporting these initiatives is crucial as they greatly enhance our teammates’ physical and mental health. Regular training and competition participation are vital for boosting team members’ engagement and motivation. Furthermore, these activities strengthen our corporate culture and foster a sense of unity within the team, building a cohesive group that feels connected to something more significant.

Additionally, participating in tournaments boosts our visibility and recognition within the tech industry. These events gather individuals from various business sectors, offering excellent networking opportunities. This exposure also attracts potential candidates who, seeing us on the football pitch, can see firsthand that our company prioritizes the well-being of its team. This interest can lead them to explore our website or social media to learn more about Innovecs, making us an attractive potential employer for talents from other teams.


Could you share a story that best illustrates the team spirit?

Football is an incredibly emotional sport filled with memorable and impactful moments. A recent story perfectly encapsulates the Innovecs Lions’ spirit and determination.

At the start of the spring tournament, we faced a skilled opponent and unfortunately lost our first game. The next match was against another strong team. By the end of the second half, we were down 4:3. During a crucial timeout, our coach gathered us and shared a motivating speech that reinvigorated us. We returned to the pitch with renewed energy and turned the game around, winning 5:4. This comeback highlighted the importance of staying focused, calm, and united, especially under pressure.

We consistently review our performances, celebrating our victories and learning from our defeats. We take the time to discuss what worked well and identify areas for improvement. These debriefings are invaluable as they reinforce our mutual support and cohesion. Gathering after matches to chat over lemonade or during a barbecue helps strengthen our bonds, ensuring everyone feels valued and integral to the team.


What are the team’s future goals?

Our primary objective is to secure a spot at the TOP-5 of the spring tournament. Currently, we are competing in the bronze league, but there are opportunities to advance to higher levels — silver, gold, and the super league. Achieving a TOP-5 will allow us to advance to higher, more competitive tiers, representing a significant milestone in our goals.

We have carefully crafted a step-by-step strategy for our progression, acknowledging that real achievements demand time and sustained effort. Our team is diligently working on improving our players’ technical skills and overall teamwork.

As we continue to grow and meet our initial targets, we are prepared to embrace new challenges and set loftier goals. This ambition reflects our commitment to excel and continuously push the boundaries, aiming to elevate not only our standings within the league but also the standards we set for ourselves and the entire competition.


How does participating in a football team support your well-being?

"Being part of the football team helps me disconnect from daily routines. When I'm on the pitch, all my worries vanish, and it's just about the game and our drive to win. We've experienced so much together, which has really brought us closer. It's more than a community now; it feels like a family, and I'm grateful to be a part of it."
Oleksii Molodyk
Software Engineer at Innovecs
"For me, football and sports, in general, have always been a source of rejuvenation. They offer a distraction from work and daily stress, help maintain my physical fitness, and provide emotional fulfillment. This balance is crucial for my productivity and mental well-being."
Artur Serdiuk
Marketing Manager at Innovecs
"People are the heart of our team. We have a really friendly and enjoyable atmosphere. I've formed friendships with many wonderful people through our team, and now our families are friends, too. We regularly spend time together outdoors, playing beach football or watching matches. I encourage anyone who loves football to join us. It truly feels like a small, joyful family."
Oleksandr Lekhtsier
QA Engineer at Innovecs

How can interested innovecsers join the team?

At Innovecs Lions, we are always excited to welcome new members! Whether you’re passionate about football or simply looking to join a vibrant community, our team is open to all. To become a part of our team, simply reach out to me directly. I’ll add you to our Telegram group chat, where you’ll find all the essential details about training schedules and upcoming games.

Joining our team is an excellent opportunity to enhance your football skills and incorporate sports into your daily routine. It’s a chance to strengthen team bonds, make new friends, and enjoy plenty of fun times together.

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