World Athletics to continue Ukraine Fund to support participation at World Championships

World Athletics is set to repeat its Ukraine Fund for another year to help the country's athletes prepare for the upcoming World Championships in Budapest.

The Fund was launched last year following the Russian invasion and resulted in more than $220,000 (£185,000/€205,000) being donated to more than 100 elite athletes.

"We pledge to repeat the World Athletics Ukraine Solidarity Fund to support Ukrainian athlete attendance at the World Athletics Championships Budapest 23 and other World Athletics Series events," read a World Athletics statement.

The announcement coincides with International Women's Day, which is being celebrated today, and comes as part of the governing body's drive to further its #WeGrowAthletics campaign.

Female athletes, including Olympic bronze medal-winning hurdler Anna Ryzhykova, made up 70 per cent of the Fund's beneficiaries.

The World Championships are scheduled to take place from August 19 to 27 later this year.

The Fund was created with contributions from the International Athletics Foundation and Diamond League members.

Ukraine has competed at every edition of the World Athletics Championships since 1993 and sits 18th on the overall medals table.

The country has amassed 11 gold, 14 silver, and 16 bronze medals.

If it was not for the scheme, Ryzhykova fears her career may have finished.

"You forget about your career, about your dreams and you think about how to survive and how to help your family and friends to survive, and the World Athletics Solidarity Fund really saved our athletes’ careers, and gave us a chance to fight for our country in our own way," she said to reporters from Fort Worth where she is currently living and training, as reported by Reuters.

"They're killing my friends, my friends' relatives, many of my friends go to war, also a number of athletes were killed by Russians.

"I can't even imagine how to be near the person who supports the war or keeps silent."

Global Athlete states that 343 facilities have been destroyed since the invasion while approximately 40,000 athletes are training abroad.

posted Wednesday March 15th
by Owen Lloyd