On the one-year anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, DOSB President Thomas Weikert remembered the victims of the war and thanked the many committed members of the German sports community who, from grassroots to elite sports,have supported and continue to support Ukrainians seeking refuge: "One year ago, this terrible war began in Europe and today we remember the many victims. At the same time, I am deeply impressed by the solidarity and support that sport in Germany has shown towards the Ukrainian people, especially Ukrainian athletes. From small clubs to large associations, from private aid transports to the commitment of 'Athletes for Ukraine' to inviting top athletes to train at federal and Olympic Training Centres , help was and is being provided quickly and unbureaucratically. For this, I would like to express gratitude to all those involved." To mark the anniversary, DOSB CEO Torsten Burmester, accompanied by State Secretary Juliane Seifert (Federal Ministry of the Interior and Community / BMI), met with Ukrainian athletes at the Olympic Training Centre Berlin for a personal exchange today.
On 4 March 2022, the DOSB and the Stiftung Deutsche Sporthilfe (German Sports Aid Foundation) set up an emergency aid fund for Ukrainian athletes, collecting some 300,000 euros from funds provided by the Stiftung Deutscher Sport (German Sports Foundation), the federal states sports associations and individual donations. This money was used to subsidise projects that were and are being carried out by clubs or associations in Germany to provide short-term accommodation for refugee athletes and to facilitate their arrival. A specially formed fund advisory board selected more than 70 projects (as of February 2023) from competitive, amateur, and Paralympic sports across all disciplines and throughout Germany to receive funding.
The basic principle was always to supplement the local contributions with grants. Among others, Ukrainian gymnasts, cyclists, handballers, boxers and sport acrobats were able to continue their training at federal and Olympic training centres. The employees of the DOSB, German Sports Youth and German Sports Marketing also pitched in and filled 550 trolleys and sports bags with Team D sportswear for Ukrainian refugees. In the high-performance sector, Olympic biathlon champion Jens Steinigen motivated many athletes such as Felix Loch, Tobi Angerer, Laura Dahlmeier, Aljona Savchenko, Francesco Friedrich and Sergej Bubka in the 'Athletes for Ukraine' association to organise help through the network of international athletes.
"Our federations and the structures of high-performance sport show solidarity and have offered significant support to Ukrainian athletes who have come to Germany for a shorter or longer period of time, so that they are not deprived of their sporting careers by the Russian aggression," said Burmester at today's meeting. "In order to continue these activities, we need more support. Therefore, I am grateful that State Secretary Juliane Seifert has promised today that these measures for Ukrainian top athletes will be supported unbureaucratically with federal funds in the future."
To be able to carry out further solidarity projects, especially in the areas of youth sport and sport-for-all, we continue to call for donations under the claim "Athletes help athletes". You can contribute using the keyword "Ukrainehilfe" and the following bank details:
Stiftung Deutscher Sport, IBAN: DE17 500 800 0000 961 826 00 or via https://www.dosb.de/ueber-uns/ukrainehilfe