World Athletics President Sebastian Coe met with members of the Ukrainian team and newly elected World Athletics Council member Natalia Dobrynska in Budapest to hand over much-needed equipment provided by the Ukraine Fund.
The fund – established by World Athletics in partnership with members of the International Athletics Foundation (IAF) and the Diamond League Association – was revived in May last year – to support elite athletes affected by conflict in their home countries.
Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year, its primary objective is to ensure that Ukrainian athletes can continue to train, qualify and compete in world championships. A team of 29 Ukrainian athletes is currently competing at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest.
USD$190,000 is available this year to support athletes, their immediate family and key support staff. This includes travel and accommodation for elite athletes at training camps and the purchase of equipment – particularly pole vaults – to replace items destroyed during the launch, for non-commissioned officials and athletes at World Athletics Series events. attacks.
Thursday (24) marks the 32nd anniversary of Ukraine’s independence and meeting the athletes the day before the anniversary, Ko said: „I am grateful that you are here competing in this 40th anniversary of the World Championships.
„I know how hard it has been for you, physically. I have spoken to many of you since Russia invaded Ukraine in February last year. I want you to know that World Athletics will continue to support you as long as you need help.
Equipment provided includes pole vault poles and mats.
„This year, we have heard your request to provide war-torn athletic equipment, and support for summer camp training and preparation for Budapest,” Ko added. „This is where we have focused our efforts. We have the poles and I am happy they are being used. The mats will continue.
„Thank you to all of you who keep our sport alive in Ukraine – athletes, coaches and federation.”
Dobrynska said: „Today we come together to express our great gratitude to World Athletics, led by President Sebastian Coe, for being a pillar of support in Ukraine during these challenging times.
„In a world that sometimes feels divided, you remind us of the power of unity. You should know that all of Ukraine appreciates your dedication and commitment to what our athletes are trying to achieve under very difficult circumstances.
Up to 100 members of the Ukrainian athletic community are expected to be in need of financial assistance this year.
On Wednesday, Ukrainian 400m hurdler Anna Ryzhikova, Athlete Refugee Team (ART) member Perina Nagang, ART coach Janet Zepkoske and World Athletics Ambassador David Rudisha visited refugee families in Ukraine currently living in Hungary.
Refugee families assisted by the UN refugee agency UNHCR and the Hungarian agency Menedek were given tickets to attend the World Athletics Championships on Wednesday morning before meeting the athletes.
They joined the WCH Budapest 23 Green Zone, which hosts activities to raise awareness of sustainability and meet and greet athletes during the championships. More information about the Green Zone and a schedule of activities can be found here.
„Całkowity introwertyk. Nieprzejednany specjalista od sieci. Przyjazny fanatyk bekonu. Student ekstremalnych. Miłośnik piwa. Organizator.”