The Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association and the Ukrainian Olympic Committee, led by pole vault legend Sergey Bubka, have a longstanding history of working together.
In his urgent letter, Bubka, who is also Vice President of World Athletics, writes, “My people live in danger. It is very hard for me – the time of hard work and the time of decisions on how to help my country, my compatriots, athletes, coaches, my colleagues, and friends, who need as ever.”
Bubka continued: “First of all, we are helping people who need to leave the territories that are under war.
“Over a million people, mostly women and children, have been forcibly displaced from their homes. Millions of people lose their livelihoods and stay without medical care, food and clothes on the Ukrainian territories.
“From the sports community side, we are trying as much as we can to channel and reinforce the soft power of our global unity to support people in Ukraine as much as we can in these unprecedented times.
“We are inviting everybody to help thousands of women and children that left their homes without the opportunity to take anything with them.
“The key priorities at this stage will be first aid medical materials, hygiene products, clothes for kids, long lasting food, and financial support.”
Both Ukraine and Bubka are friends of Philippine Athletics. During this difficult time, and to answer the call from Bubka, PATAFA will be donating US1,000.
Furthermore, the National Sports Association for Athletics has just launched an initiative to support refugees, displaced innocent civilians, athletes, and kids called “Waging Peace for Athletes and Kids in Ukraine”.
“We call on those who are able to consider joining us to send aid to Ukraine.
It was Nelson Mandela who said it best, “Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than the government in breaking down racial barriers,” the PATAFA said.