UK fishermen and trade donate to ‘Anglers for Ukraine’ appeal
The body that represents anglers in the UK has launched a fundraising initiative in response to the worsening humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.
‘Anglers for Ukraine’ was launched by the Angling Trust at last weekend’s The Big One fishing show with visitors to the event contributing to a bucket collection. One generous exhibitor, fishing brand and retailer, Outlaw Pro, donated all the takings from its stand – totalling more than £10,000 – to get the appeal off to a flying start. The company will be doing the same at the Essex Carp Show which takes place at the end of the month.
Carp legend and TV personality Ali Hamidi came to offer his support and top Ukrainian angler, Serhii Vasylchyshyn, of the Ukrainian Sport Fishing Federation, expressed his thanks on behalf of his fellow countrymen.
He said: “It means a great deal to us Ukrainians to know that our fellow anglers in the UK are helping us at this time of great need. Our country is at war following a vicious and unprovoked invasion that is killing innocent civilians and destroying our towns and cities. Our people are bravely resisting, but they need every assistance possible.”
Ian Smith, Managing Director of Outlaw Pro, said: “The heartbreaking scenes that we are seeing coming from Ukraine are unimaginable in modern day society. It seems that speaking to so many people this last week that the invasion has affected countless people in the UK personally with friends and family who are living in that part of the world.
“It’s at times like this we have to do whatever we can to try and ease the suffering of those directly affected by this tragedy. We started our efforts to raise money at The Big One show at Farnborough, but we will continue to raise money in one form or another for as long as the conflict continues. It’s just the right thing to do.”
All the money collected will be given directly to the British Red Cross Ukrainian Crisis Appeal to which the Government has pledged to match fund up to £20 million. An online donation route has been established via a special Just Giving page here
Last week, the Angling Trust supported the decision taken by the Confédération Internationale de la Pêche Sportive (CIPS) – the body that oversees competitive international angling – to exclude Russia and Belarus from all international competitions in solidarity with both the people of Ukraine and Ukrainian anglers who regularly compete in international competitions.
Martin Salter, Head of Policy at the Angling Trust, said: “The scenes on our TV screens are almost too much to bear with over 1.5 million people bombed or driven out of their homes. The scale of human suffering is appalling and will only get worse.
“Sporting boycotts, including the recent ban on Russian and Belarusian angling teams, along with economic sanctions and direct military aid, all have a part to play in trying to bring this bloody conflict to an end. However, we are pleased to be able to offer a direct route for the angling community to play its part in helping to raise funds for much needed medical supplies, food and shelter for those innocent and terrified civilians who are literally running for their lives.”
Main picture: Martin Salter (left) and Ali Hamidi launching Anglers for Ukraine at The Big One