In this acute phase of the war, one of the fastest and most effective ways to help the people of Ukraine is through organizations working on the ground.
Over the course of March, the IBU set up a fundraising and donation campaign on its Facebook pages and opened the team "Biathlon For Ukraine" on the Active Giving App.
The fundraising campaigns are now completed, having raised a total of 44,350€ thanks to donations by the Biathlon Family that were in turn matched by the International Biathlon Union.
On Facebook, the entire Biathlon family was invited to donate directly to the Austrian Red Cross. Over 20,000€ were donated until 20 March 2022 - all donations up to 20,000€ will now be matched by the International Biathlon Union to go directly to a local foundation called "Health of the Ukrainian people" that specializes in providing medicine and medical services to those impacted by the war in Ukraine.
On the Active Giving App, over 600 members of the Biathlon Family formed the team "Biathlon For Ukraine", burning 1,500,000 kcal and covering 30,700 km. This converts into 36,416.5 points, equaling an additional 3,641€ donated to the Austria Red Cross by the International Biathlon Union.
Furthermore, the IBU Executive Board announced last week that it has partnered with the National Federations of Austria, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland to provide much-needed support to the Ukrainian biathlon community. The IBU will work with the eight National Federations taking part in the project to host training camps for Ukrainian athletes and teams of all categories as soon as it is possible for them to travel outside of their country.
IBU President Olle Dahlin said:
“The IBU thanks the eight National Federations for their generosity and willingness to assist us with this programme for the Ukrainian biathlon community. While it is these National Federations that can support this project, we know that the whole biathlon family is united behind it and standing in solidarity with Ukraine.”
IBU Vice-President Jiri Hamza, who is the EB representative for the project, said:
“Now, at such a grave time, sport is rightly far from people’s minds. But we want to ensure that when the time allows, we are ready to support the Ukrainian biathlon community in the best way we can. Like everyone in the international community, we are horrified by what we are seeing take place in Ukraine and we desperately hope that a peaceful resolution can be found as soon as possible. The solidarity programme is a strong signal of support from the whole biathlon family.”
The camps will also include the provision of biathlon equipment, as required. The IBU and National Federations will activate their existing networks and suppliers to secure equipment at no, or minimal cost. In addition, the IBU will donate up to €250,000 to the project. The precise details of the project including number of participants and the venues and duration of the training camps will be confirmed at a later date when the situation allows for such planning.