Nova Kahovka Speleological Club “Bezdna”

First speleological expedition in Nova Kahovka City happened long time ago, in the times of the Soviet Union. At that time, tourist club “Skif” existed in the city. It was working on the base of professional union of local factory-giant “Elektronmash”. The club organized many outdoor tours involving hiking, mountaineering and water tourism. One day, it was decided to do a speleological expedition, for the sake of diversity of activities. That is when speleology in Nova Kahovka was born. However, with the flow of time, professional unions stepped away, and people became less involved in speleology by different reasons – some got married, others got stuck in the work routine. Nevertheless, alternative organization was formed in the city, but this time for kids.

HOW EVERYTHING BEGAN… From personal memories

Everything started with the opening of new public school #10 in the year 1987. Our whole fifth grade was transferred to the new school. On the first day of school, September 1st, my attention caught an advertisement on the announcement board saying that speleological club is welcoming new students to join. First gathering of interested students was held on September 3rd, on school sport grounds. A lot of students attended this first meeting, but after several trainings some of them left the club, as they discovered that it is not excursions to the caves, but extensive physical, tactical and technical training on ropes, so to make it possible to overcome complicated and difficultly reachable underground caverns. It turned out that having a good physical fit was not enough.

Our English teacher Olga Leonidovna Holosha (Ryazanova) was the lead of the club. Olga Leonidovna can be proudly thought of as a founder of young tourist station and reviver of speleology in our city, as she was the one that started it all. She was so into speleology, that it didn’t take us, her trainees, long to become keen on this very interesting thing. After a month of training, we traveled to our very first in the tourism career competition – local gathering of school students. We took 12th place on this gathering. After one more month of training our result was 9th place. Next year, our team took 1st place at local gathering and became one among three leaders in the regional competition. All the following years we were adhering to these results strictly.

Together we formed good coupled team that we named “Miotis” which means bat. For us, 5th-7th graders a winter expedition to Crimean Chatir-Dag caves was first mature challenge. This expedition happened during our winter holidays in the year 1988. That trip left tremendous number of colorful memories - climbing steep snowy slopes in the harsh snowstorm, difficulty and inconvenience of backpacks, frost, specialty of winter camping gear, and most importantly - an unforgettable experience of the first acquaintance with the underground world.

From that time, we didn’t lose any good opportunity to go on any expedition. Every weekend we spent training in dry marshes of Korsunka Village, participated in various competitions in sport tourism (local, regional and national), no school holiday went for nothing – we always held scoring speleological trips to Crimean caves. Traditionally, summer scoring expedition was carried out in Western Ukraine in Ternopil Region - there are the longest horizontal caves in Ukraine (Optimistychna, Blakitni Ozera, Mlynky, Kryshtaleva and others).

Gradually, students of public school #1 joined us. We were constantly competing with them at local competitions. Soon, the younger group came. Teachers of geography Nina Ivanivna Chigakova and Ludmyla Petrivna Djulai, that somehow quietly joined us, were indispensable helpers in the organization of camping gear and food provision in the expeditions and competitions.

All that time we were meeting in the small room, located over the concert hall at school #10. We lovingly called that room "kamorka". However, soon it became too small for us. Perhaps, that is when Olga Leonidovna got an idea to create a tourist station. I won’t go into documentary and legal details as they interest us least, but on the 1st of February year 1990 tourism acquired an official status in our city as a station for junior tourists. First large (after the “komora”) space - the basement of the school #2. First director, first leaders, but that’s totally another era – history of the Junior Tourist Station as a separate facility. Only three years had passed from the moment of creation of speleological group “Miotis” to the time of establishment of Junior Tourist Station of young travelers, but what years! We lived a life of full with bright events, memorable trips, expeditions, and gained valuable life experience. I think each of “Miotis” students remembers those days with awe and joy, and remembers Olga Leonidovna with great gratitude for opening a new, entirely different world - the world of underground beauty.

Currently, the speleological club “Bezdna” is active in the city. Founders of this club are graduates of the “Danapris” Speleology Club of the Sports, Travel & Tourism Center (earlier – Junior Tourist Station) under management of Galyna Volodymyrivna Perehresna. The lub was established on February 1st, 2006. During all of its existence, the club members are trying to take an active part in UkrSA events.

This year the club welcomed new young generation.

Club President: Galyna Perehresna, tel: 0953582266, e-mail: gala_speleo[@]