The International Canoe Federation have created a GoFundMe account to raise money for Ukrainian athletes and their families ©ICF

National Canoe Federations across Europe have gathered to support Ukrainian athletes affected by the ongoing conflict in the country.

Athletes, organisations and sports clubs have faced the drastic consequences of the war, including zero access to funds as money transfers within Ukraine has been banned until further notice.

Several activities and initiatives have been organised by the paddling community to provide all athletes with a safe and supportive environment, where they may be reunited with family members.

The Polish canoeing community is currently providing housing, food and training facilities for a group of displaced athletes, including Ukrainian canoe athlete Viktoriia Dobrotvorska.

Dobrotvorska was safe at a canoe slalom training camp in Poland, when she suddenly had her life changed after listening to the harsh news.

She managed to travel to Lviv, a Ukrainian city just 70 kilometres from the Polish border, where she could meet her husband, daughter and mother,

"We are really grateful, because they said we could stay as long as we wanted, and they provided food, they’ve let us train for free," Dobrotvorska said.

"And now we are still here."

The world's [addling community has come together to support canoe athletes affected by the war in Ukraine ©ICF
The world's [addling community has come together to support canoe athletes affected by the war in Ukraine ©ICF

 International Canoe Federation (ICF) President Thomas Konietzko has met more than 120 Ukrainian athletes stuck without the means to move in Turkey.

This group includes 51 senior athletes, 51 juniors and 25 Paracanoe athletes.

A large part of the team will move to Romania, where they have offered accommodation, while another group of athletes will head straight to Bulgaria.

Junior athletes have been offered sites in Poland, Hungary, France, Germany and Estonia.

"The generosity of our friends at the Romanian Canoe Federation and other federations throughout Europe is something we should all be very proud of," Konietzko said.

"Within hours of this crisis unfolding, offers began flooding in. 

"It certainly brought some smiles to a group of athletes who are doing it very tough at the moment. 

"They all have family and friends still in Ukraine, so every day is full of worry and distress for them.

"I urge our canoeing family to continue to step up to support Ukraine.

"Unfortunately this crisis may not be over for a long time, so we need to provide as much help as we can."

Around 25 Paracanoe athletes, including five in wheelchairs, still need accommodation but the ICF hope the paddling community will continue to come together to support the cause.

The ICF have also created a GoFundMe account to make payments easier to support Ukrainian canoe athletes, coaches, and their families.

Those funds will go towards accommodation, food and other expenses to help them through this period until peace can be restored in Ukraine and athletes can go back to a normal life.

Alternatively, they have also created a bank account where people can make donations using the bank details found here.

The ICF has banned all Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials from all events, meetings and committees and has also removed the three events scheduled to be held in Russia this year in response to the invasion of Ukraine by the two countries – a stand up paddle World Cup and two canoe sprint Super Cups.