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Fleeing Ukrainian athletes welcomed by clubs in Bosnia, Bulgaria | More sports News

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VARNA, Bulgaria/MOSTAR, Bosnia: Sports clubs in Bulgaria and Bosnia are offering refuge, coaching and competitors for athletes escaping battle in one other present of worldwide solidarity for Ukraine.
Mihail Minchev, the 34-year-old proprietor and coach of Hispano tennis membership close to the Black Sea metropolis of Varna, was amongst these responding to the Bulgarian tennis federation’s attraction to assist after Russia’s invasion upended lives for tens of millions in Ukraine.
“I had to so do something,” mentioned Minchev, who volunteered to host two households with three teenage feminine tennis gamers from one other Black Sea metropolis: Odesa in Ukraine.
“I could not just be an indifferent spectator and watch what is happening on TV from my couch as if it is some reality show.”
One of the brand new arrivals, 14-year-old Sasha Groza, has gained competitions in Odesa, desires of at some point successful the Australian Open, and appears as much as British girls’s No. 1 Emma Raducanu.
“Tennis is my life,” Groza mentioned at Minchev’s condominium earlier than a coaching session.
She appreciates Varna’s pleasant welcome however can not fairly grasp what has occurred. “Our fathers stayed in Ukraine, our grandmothers, grandfathers stayed in Ukraine. It’s very sad.”
Bulgaria’s tennis affiliation has, likewise, helped about 12 households with younger tennis gamers to date. It plans to incorporate them in nationwide tournaments with out prior registration.
SHARED WAR TRAUMA
In Bosnia, recollections of their very own devastating battle three a long time in the past fuels compassion.
“When the girls asked us why we were helping them, we said that we were children of war ourselves, running away with our mothers while others were helping us,” mentioned Anita Glibic, director of the Student Volleyball Club (SOK) in the southern city of Mostar.
SOK is internet hosting seven gamers from the Ukrainian membership Balta, with 4 extra anticipated in response to an open invitation to Ukrainian feminine volleyball gamers.
The membership is offering lodging, meals and coaching.
“We travelled for four days, … with long stays on the borders. It was so difficult,” mentioned Varvara Koltsova, who arrived together with her three-year-old son.
Another Ukrainian participant Olha Kachur mentioned eventually they felt secure with out battle and bombs.
“I think that no person who run away from Ukraine now have a plan what to do … Of course we want to go home to our families, our friends but now we don’t know when war will end,” she mentioned.
“I feel little guilty because I’m safe and they are not.”



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