As the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues, two young Ukrainian swimmers have found refuge at the Richmond Dales Amateur Swimming Club in Richmond, England.
Timofii and Tkyhnonwith their mother, Irina, were hosted at Richmond Dales ASC under the UK Ukrainian Resettlement Scheme. Formerly based in Kyiv, the two young male swimmers will have access to the Richmond and Catterick pools for training sessions and other support.
The club’s board has pledged to waive membership fees for both swimmers, allowing them to train and continue their swimming careers. With Swim England also agreeing to waive the boys’ annual membership fee, the club is also raising money through a Go Fund Me page to pay for the family’s flight to the UK from Bulgaria.
Keith Roommanager of Richmond Dales ASC, said: “The whole club community has been affected by the crisis in Ukraine.
“At the start of the war, club members raised £1,900 in less than 24 hours and used the money to buy essential supplies.
“We then transported the supplies across Europe and to Poland as part of the Catterick and Colburn community effort, led by Councilor Angie Dale.”
Hall added: “As soon as we heard that a member of the club was taking a refugee family home, we knew we wanted to help, and the fact that the boys were avid swimmers made it easier for us to do that. .
“As always, the whole club has come together with very generous friends like NESS Swimwear and Swim England.
“We hope allowing the boys to join our support club will help them settle into their new surroundings and make the transition to British life.” (Richmondshire today)
The Go Fund Me page which has been set up to raise funds to cover the costs of the family’s flights to the UK can be found here.