RUGBY LEAGUE PARTICIPATION ON THE RISE IN UKRAINE
18th August 2011
The Ukrainian rugby league season, which is about to enter its representative phase, has been one of the busiest – and most visible - to date according to UFRL officials. That is due in large part to the airing of the Engage Super League on Ukrainian television, with the programme also covering domestic activity. The increased awareness has led in turn to UFRL officials Gennady Veprik, Anton Boyko and vice president Artur Martyrosyan meeting municipal officials in Kiev, Dnepropetrovsk, Donestsk, Krivoy Rog, Sevastapol, Smferepol, Feodosia, Odessa and Kharkov about further spreading the sport across the country.
One of the main results of those meetings was that nine times Ukrainian rugby union champions “Argo” joined the league ranks, with a total of seven clubs competing in a series of 9s events. The UFRL has also begun introducing rugby league at youth level, with eight teams of U14 and U16s in Donetsk playing for the first time.
“Our season is still ‘full steam ahead’,” said Martyrosyan. “Our youth and junior championships aren’t finished yet and the national team will participate in two matches.” He continued, “On top of the increased activity and interest in rugby league, the UFRL is in position to apply for government recognition with the Ukrainian Ministry of Youth and Sport, a move it hopes will pave the way for Membership of the RLEF.”