Rugby League Cares has launched an appeal to help raise funds needed for Ukraine to enter a team into the European Under-19 Championships in Italy later this year.
Ukraine have been given the go-ahead to compete in the tournament taking place in Lignano Sabbiadoro, Udine in September by the Ukrainian Federation of Rugby League (UFRL) and the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Ukraine, together with European Rugby League (ERL).
However, Ukraine requires a funding boost to compete in the European Championships, where they will face England, Ireland, Italy, Serbia, Scotland, Wales and France.
The initial fundraising target of £30,000 ($35,000) has been set to cover the cost of transport, accommodation, kit and equipment and preparation time.
RL Cares chief on Ukraine fundraising appeal
As the country continues to struggle with the impact of the Russian invasion, the UFRL is seeking funds for the tournament. The UFRL are partnering with the ERL and RL Cares, who are providing a fundraising platform.
Chris Rostron, head of RL Cares, said: “RL Cares is a long established and trusted independent charity and we are delighted that we are able to support the Ukrainian Federation of Rugby League’s plans to take part in the Rugby League Under-19s European Championship.
“We have all seen the devastation; and the life changing effects that the ongoing war has caused to the lives of civilians there. We know that sport brings hope. We’re honoured to be playing our part in bringing that to the players involved; and keeping the rugby league flag flying in Ukraine during this very difficult time.
“I am encouraging everyone around the world who loves rugby league to play their part; and make a donation in support of this cause.”
UFRL president Artur Martyrosian said: “We will continue the preparation of our team over the next few months. We plan to make Ukraine and the global game of rugby league proud of our participation in the tournament.”
The Under-19s European Championship has been almost three years in the making due to the global pandemic. Hosts Italy will use the event as a catalyst to their domestic rugby league activity.
To make a donation to Ukraine’s fundraising appeal, CLICK HERE.